Hector Guimard (French, 1867-1942) was an architect known for advancing the Art Nouveau movement towards the end of the nineteenth century.
in the late 1890s, Paris was in the process of establishing an underground transportation system to prepare for the Paris Exposition of 1900, and the Compagnie du Metropolitan sponsored a competition to design the system’s entrance gates. Guimard won the commission (although he never formally entered the competition) with his avant-garde designs using standardized cast iron components, making for easy fabrication and assembly on-site. The gates have been described as having sinuous, organic lines with stylized, giant stalks drooping under the weight of what seem to be swollen tropical flowers (Museum of Modern Art). These flowers are amber glass lamps, which are well known elements in Art Nouveau design.