1.02.2008

a parisian design genius to bring in the new year

i don't know about you, but i'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the bright shiny newness that's everywhere for 2008 and i'm having a hard time choosing what to blog about that might seem refreshing rather than more of the "brand new right now" messages that are every where. then i thought why not reflect on a historical design genius with a ton of influence today? history informs the future, so please enjoy some honoring of a french design master, jean-michel frank.
jean-michel frank was born in 1895 in paris. he completed his elementary and secondary studies at the lycee janson de sailly. he lived through many tragedies in his early life, losing his two brothers in ww1, which ultimately resulted in the suicide of his father the same year, 1915. four years later, jena-michel inherited a small fortune when his mother died. from 1919 to 1925, he traveled throughout the world, joining the artistic and social circles of that time, which resulted in his interest for interior design. his reputation and signature were born when he completed the paris apartment of the vicomte charles de noailles & his infamous wife maire-laure. frank redefined the decorative arts between 1932 and 1940. he had many influences from working in paris, new york and south america. he established an original style for the thirties and is considered the most influential designer and decorator of the parisian haute-monde of the 1930s and 40s. he is known for his works of marquetry with noble and luxury materials {vellum-sheathed walls, bleached leather, lacquer and shagreen}.

{shagreen armchair}


{lemon tree veneered and straw marquetry sideboard ~ 1932}


{mahogany & silk canape en acajou, circa 1930}


although he unfortunately commited suicide in 1941, jean-michel frank’s style is still being used today to create modern pieces of furniture and influencing today's designers all around the world. various contemporary french designers such as andree putman , mattia bonetti and elizabeth garouste have cited frank as a spiritual teacher and inspiration. the look that frank created, admiringly called by the french as "le style frank", continues to exert its influence through the powerful combination of the simplest forms and the most exquisite materials to produce objects that are noble and utterly modern.





{info gathered from artnet, design within reach, eurostyle.com, }

3 comments:

paris parfait said...

Yes he was an absolute genius! And I'm happy to say I own one of his chairs. I wish I had an apartment filled with his gorgeous furniture! xo

studio wellspring said...

oh you super lucky lady tara! which one do you have?? i'm so jealous. ;o)

vineeta said...

Angie, how strange- and co-incidental. I just made my 1st post this year & its about this amazing architect who is no more & There are so many parallels. Thanx for sharing!