Prouvé Abridged

Luis Fernández-Galiano 

Initial Workshops: from Apprentice to Master 

Jean Prouvé was born in Paris in 1901, son of a painter and a pianist, but his creative life is tied to the craft tradition of Nancy, centered on wrought ironwork, furniture and glass. The École de Nancy – an association of enlightened artists, craftsmen and industrialists, close to modernism in its defense of trades – was created the year he was born by his father Victor and his godfather Émile Gallé, and this atmosphere of pursuit of excellence provided the background for the childhood and youth of Jean, who worked as an apprentice in Paris with the blacksmiths Émile Robert and Adalbert Szabo before opening his own workshop in 1924. That year was also the one of his marriage to the painter Madeleine Schott, one of his father’s students, with whom he would have five children: Françoise, Claude, Simone, Hélène and Catherine. His first works on Rue du Général Custine were handrails, elevator grilles and entrance gates; the one he designed in 1927 for the Maison Reifenberg in Paris by Robert Mallet-Stevens was his passport of entry to the world of avant-garde architects, who would become his main clients and collaborators. Also from this period are his first furniture designs and patents, which materialize his life project of reconciling art with industry... [+]

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