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The Art of Iron

In the mid-19th century, an architectural photographer employed by the French government began salvaging wrought ironwork from buildings slated for renovation or demolition. His son expanded the collection, which today is among the finest of its kind. A selection of its holdings, from locks and gates to shop signs and church lecterns, may be admired in The Art of Iron: Objects from the Musée Le Secq des Tournelles, Rouen, Normandy. Eloquent reminders of pre-industrial times, these items epitomize the marriage of form and function, illustrating that everyday objects can — and arguably should — be things of beauty. The show explores the hammering, chiseling, and other techniques employed by blacksmiths, who often worked from architectural drawings.