The display in this large room provides a transversal view of the collections with works by some of the great names in Art Deco (including Jacques Doucet, Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Robert Mallet-Stevens) and examples of the use of tubular metal.
This large room provides a transversal view of the collections based on a number of different themes rather than a chronological approach.
The fashion designer Jacques Doucet was above all a great patron of the arts. After amassing a collection of eighteenth-century paintings and furniture, he turned his attention to contemporary art. In the 1910s, he commissioned the designer Paul Iribe to decorate his apartment on Avenue Foch, then during the 20s, asked Pierre Legrain, Marcel Coard and Paul Mergier to create the furniture for his studio on Rue Saint-James in Neuilly, where he kept his collection of contemporary paintings. These furniture pieces of Cubist and African inspiration, made of luxury materials, have a highly original form of elegance.
The museum’s collection of furniture by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann features some ten pieces made between 1916 and 1933. Some of these were presented at the Exhibition of 1925 in the artist’s showcase pavilion, the Hôtel du Collectionneur.
The furniture in Robert Mallet-Stevens’s private study stands on a tubular metal base. The lacquered doors with hinged panels, decorated with a geometric pattern designed by Jean Dunand, came from the house designed by Mallet-Stevens on the street that bears his name in the sixteenth arrondissement of Paris.
A collection of metal furniture dating from 1926 to 1931 testifies to the international dimension of this style. The flexibility, lightness and solidity of tubular metal changed the very forms of furniture – especially of seats, with the creation of the cantilever chair. Other pieces illustrate the traditional ironwork technique that was greatly admired at the time.