Modern Art and Design on the French Riviera
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLVS 3004
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Visual Culture
  • Design History, Theory & Criticism
The French Riviera is most often associated with tourism and celebrity culture. Along with its privileged Mediterranean environment, it is equally known as a geographic locale associated with the arts, design, and architecture over the course of the twentieth century and into the present. From urban spaces such as the Promenade des Anglais and the Villa Arson to key works by Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Guy Rottier, and Henri Matisse and others working in architecture, the region is renowned for inventive public, cultural and private architecture, architectural interiors, and garden design. The mix of high and mass culture ushered in fashion as a lifestyle component closely linked with celebrity culture, but it also manifest social change directly in the works of Chanel and the postwar bikini, while and its links to photography are especially apparent in works by Lisette Model, Jacques-Henri Lartique, and André Villers. The region is known for its interdisciplinary collaborations across the arts. Theater and costume design drew modernists into this milieu from Picasso to Martial Raysse in the mid-1960s, while filmmakers such as Jean Vigo and Agnès Varda probed the identity of the region using film for surreal juxtapositions and critical montage. This course will focus on the rich production of art and design produced in this locale, which established the Côte d’Azur as a model of late twentieth century cities associated with culture and leisure.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisites: first-year university writing course and at least one prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture.


Open to Undergraduate students.