Hector Guimard was born in Lyon and moved with his family in 1882 to Paris, where he immediately registered in the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs. He pursued architecture and design as a career, continuing his education at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Best known for his Paris Metro entrances, it is generally acknowledged that Hector Guimard introduced Art Nouveau designs to French architectural ironwork. The same spirit informed his ceramics, albeit on a smaller scale. Guimard was a leading proponent of the Gesamtkunstwerk (the Germanic concept of harmonious design of the built environment), and conjured public buildings, houses, apartments, and boutiques along with their architectural ornamentation furniture, wallpaper, and lighting fixtures. He won the Concours de Façades de la Ville de Paris in 1900, an architectural competition promoting modern public architecture. Guimard died in New York City in 1942.