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The Art Déco armchairs of the São Paulo Jockey Club

Grant number: 22/15653-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2023
Effective date (End): December 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Art Fundamentals and Criticism
Principal Investigator:Angela Brandão
Grantee:Luiz Henrique Otto de Santana Filho
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


Just five years after its inauguration in 1941, the São Paulo Jockey Club (or Hipódromo Cidade Jardim), originally designed by Elisário Bahiana (Rio de Janeiro, 1891 - São Paulo, 1980), underwent an almost total renovation under the works of the French architect Henri Sajous (Bordeaux, 1897 - Nice, 1975), who transformed it into the largest Art Déco complex, in occupied area, in the world. Applying refined and classic elements, a modern expansion was sought, which would aesthetically equalize this space of sociability with the status of its visitors, members of the São Paulo elite of the first half of the 20th century. The reform was thought of in the logic of the Gesamtkunstwerk (from German, "complete work of art"), a characteristic found in one of its last moments, where not only the structure of the different buildings is taken into account in the project, but also the details of their interiors. Thus, in the eight of the twelve years that Henri Sajous dedicated himself to the works of the São Paulo Jockey Club (JCSP), several ornamental interventions were carried out by him, including the design of exclusive pieces of furniture. The thematic outline of this research focuses on the armchairs designed by Henri Sajous for the main halls of the JCSP. With tapestries imported from Aubusson, France, they are direct influences from the furniture designed for the luxury ocean liner Normandie, cited as a "floating version" of the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris.

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