Hector Guimard was a French architect and designer, and a prominent figure of the Art Nouveau style. He achieved early fame with his design for the Castel Beranger, the first Art Nouveau apartment building in Paris, which was selected in an 1899 competition as one of the best new building facades in the city. He is best known for the glass and iron edicules or canopies, with ornamental Art Nouveau curves, which he designed to cover the entrances of the first stations of the Paris Metro.
Between 1890 and 1930, Guimard designed and built some fifty buildings, in addition to one hundred and forty-one subway entrances for Paris Metro, as well as numerous pieces of furniture and other decorative works. However, in the 1910s Art Nouveau went out of fashion and by the 1960s most of his works had been demolished, and only two of his original Metro edicules were still in place. Guimard's critical reputation revived in the 1960s, in part due to subsequent acquisitions of his work by Museum of Modern Art, and art historians have noted the originality and importance of his architectural and decorative works.