Installation view of works by Memphis-group at the sales exhibition Bowie/Collector at Sotheby’s London, November 2016. Featuring works: First-chairs (1983), Polar-side tables (1984) and Flamingo-side table (1984) by Michele de Lucchi, Cucumber vases by Martine Bedin (1985).
New York: Abrams, 1984. First English-language edition. Quarto. Black cloth embossed in black. Photo illustrated dust jacket. 312 pp. 487 illlustrations, 67 plates in color
This is still the major reference work on the renowned French modernist architect and interior designer Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann. Known as The Master of Art Deco, Ruhlmann created opulent, exquisitely designed furniture, homes and showrooms for the Parisian beau monde in the twenties and thirties.
Excellent English translation of the 1983 Paris monograph (Paris: Editions Du Regard, 1983) on one of the greatest and most prolific Art Deco cabinetmakers and interior designers of the twentieth century. Translated by David Macey.
The legendary French furniture designer and interior decoratorJacques-Emile Ruhlmann (1879 - 1933) was a luminary of Art Deco, the creator of luxury designs that are today some of the most coveted masterpieces mde in Paris in the 1920s. Born in Paris in 1879, Ruhlmann took over the family decorating firm in 1907 and soon began showing his exquisitely elegant furniture and decorator objects at the Paris Salons d'Automne. Ruhlmann’s pieces were concieved as luxury one-offs, made of the most costly materials, including exotic hardwoods such as Macassar ebony, amboina, or rosewood with tortoiseshell and ebony intarsia inlay.
In 1919 Ruhlmann and Pierre Laurent founded Etablissement Ruhlmann et Laurent, specializing in interior design and producing luxury home goods that included furniture, wallpaper and lighting. For the 1925 Paris “Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes,” Ruhlmann caused a sensation with the interior design and furniture of the “Hotel du Collectionneur” (A Collector’s House).
In 1929 Ruhlmann showed an elegant study and living room he had designed for a crown prince at the “Salon des Artistes Decorateurs.” The storage furniture designed for the library was bought by the actress Jeanne Renouard. The Maharajah of Indore even had it copied in Macassar ebony for his new palace at Manik Bagh. These modular storage pieces were also the forerunners of modern system furniture.
Ruhlmann’s legacy as a designer was the subject of a major retrospective exhibition at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004. In 2009, he was called the “Art Deco’s greatest artist” by the New York Times.
Florence Camard, specialist in the decorative arts from 1890 to 1930, teaches at the Center for the Study of the Art Object in Paris.