"Michel Dufet Architecte Decorateur" 1988 CAMARD, Florence

CAMARD, Florence

[237] pp.

Les Editions De L' Amateur

1988

11 3/4" x 9 1/4"

Michel Dufet was was born Deville-les-Rouen, France, in 1888. He studied painting and architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and in 1913, he established his first decor firm MAM (or Mobilier Artistique Moderne). Located 3 Avenue de l’Opéra in Paris, the firm was operated under the precepts of modernism, and produced furniture, wallpaper, fabrics, and lighting.

In 1914 he debuted at the Salon des Artistes Français, but, as for most, it wasn’t until the post-war years that Dufet's career took flight. In 1918, he collaborated with Paul Claudel, André Gide, Marcel Proust, and Gabriel Fauréthe on the revue Feuillets d’Art; and after 1919 MAM often exhibited at the salons of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs and at the Salon d’Automne. In 1920 he began working with the painter Louis Bureau in the production of successful interiors for MAM and in 1922 he took on a second position as the head of the interior design firm Red Star, based in Rio de Janeiro, designing everything from stores to cinemas, from theaters to bars and workplaces

In 1924 Dufet left Red Star and sold MAM to P.-A. Dumas, though he continued to produce furniture for the latter for years to come. It was in this pivotal year that he began designing furniture and interiors in collaboration with the art critic Léandre Vaillat for Le Sylve, the new design studio of Le Bucheron department store.

His furniture, constructed with lush materials, and executed in new, exciting forms, was by now well recognized for its unique aesthetic and the skillful way he threaded tradition with modernity. Drawing the attention of the French elite, he began to secure more and more important commissions: furniture for the oceanliner Ile-de-France in 1927; for the Compagnie Asturienne des Mines in 1929; and for Maréchal Lyautey, the commissioner general of the Paris Exposition Coloniale in 1931.

This last kicked off a decade of sterling achievements for Dufet. In 1933 he was taken on as Editor-in-Chief of Décor d’Aujourd’hui and in 1935 designed forty first-class cabins for the ocean-liner Normandie. In 1937 Dufet participated in the Exposition International des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris and in 1939 he was honored with designing the French pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.

After the war he developed the layout for the Musée d’Antoine Bourdelle, a museum dedicated to the work of his father-in-law, and for much of his remaining years spent his time promoting his father-in-law’s work.

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