Le Chic !
Decorative arts and furniture
from 1930 to 1960

From 7 October to 13 November 2022

Mobilier National

Galerie de Gobelins
42 avenue des Gobelins – 75013 Paris

Mobilier national © Isabelle Bideau

Gathered together for the first time in an exhibition, nearly 200 works from the collections of the Mobilier National bring to life the essence of French “Chic” through a scenography by Vincent Darré.

The revelation of unpublished collections, icons of modernity

From 1930 to the end of the 1950s, most of the decorators who would make the history of these three decades of the 20th century were called upon to collaborate with the Mobilier National: André Arbus, Jules Leleu, Jean Pascaud, Étienne-Henri Martin, Marc du Plantier, Gilbert Poillerat and Raphaël Raffel. The figure of the decorator played a key role. As a true assembler, he conceived decoration as a harmonious whole and orchestrated the arts and crafts to serve a global project. The art of refinement was based as much on the preciousness of the materials (parchment, gilded bronze, crystal, lacquer, etc.) as on the research of the line, up to the purity of the design.

Of remarkable quality and diversity, the collection of the Mobilier National is the first in France for this period. The collection bears witness to Art Deco and research in the field of decorative arts during the 1940s and 1950s, and includes both ceremonial furniture, the heir to a long tradition of luxury, and functionalist pieces that mark the transition to contemporary design.

A manifesto exhibition in support of the French arts and crafts

This exhibition is also an opportunity to highlight the skills of some fifty craftsmen and masters of art who have contributed to the restoration of the pieces on display, thus revealing these ensembles in a new light. Between 2021 and 2022, the Mobilier National has undertaken a restoration programme on an unprecedented scale of around one hundred pieces of furniture and lighting from the 1930s to 1950s. This programme has thus made it possible to support a sector that was weakened during the crisis and to encourage the activity of women and men who keep alive an invaluable intangible heritage.

Le Chic ! Decorative arts and furniture from 1930 to 1960 - Mobilier national © Isabelle Bideau

Le Chic ! Decorative arts and furniture from 1930 to 1960
Mobilier national © Isabelle Bideau

General Commissioner
Hervé Lemoine, General Curator of Heritage, President of the Mobilier national

Emmanuelle Federspiel, Heritage Curator, Inspector of Collections – Mobilier national
Gérald Remy, Heritage Curator, Collections Inspector – Mobilier national

Associate Curator
Jérémie Tortil, Scientific Officer – Mobilier national

Maison Vincent Darré

Exhibition manager
Clément Hado, Exhibition Manager – Mobilier national