ArtLex Art Dictionary



iron - A silvery-white, lustrous, malleable, ductile, magnetic or magnetizable, metallic element used alloyed in a wide range of important structural materials, like steel. Iron is forged and cast, and used for many tools, such as: chisels, drills, files, hammers, and saws. It is also used in armatures. Its reddish-brown oxide, or rust, is a permanent, inexpensive, and commonly used pigment. Atomic number 26; atomic weight 55.847; melting point 1,535°C; specific gravity 7.874 (at 20°C); valence 2, 3, 4, 6.

Examples of work in iron:




see thumbnail to rightGustave Eiffel (French, 1832-1923) , Eiffel Tower, 1887 - 1889, exposition observation tower, exposed iron construction, height 985 feet, a symbol of Paris worldwide. Built for Paris's 1889 International Exhibition, the centenary celebration of the French Revolution.


Louis Sullivan (American, 1856-1924), Stairway Balusters (from Carson Pirie Scott & Co., Chicago), 1899, iron, 34 7/8 x 9 3/4 x 7 15/16 inches, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. See architect architecture, ornament, and Prairie school.




see thumbnail to leftJulio Gonzalez (Spanish, 1876-1942), Woman Doing Her Hair 1, c. 1931, forged and soldered iron, 168.5 x 54 x 27 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.


Also see cast, forge, melting point, metal, mold, openwork, sheet metal, wire, and wrought iron.




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