FRENCH ART NOUVEAU: THE ÉCOLE DE NANCY MUSEUM
The École de Nancy Museum
The École de Nancy was an important arm of the European art nouveau movement and the École de Nancy Museum is one of the few museums in France dedicated solely to this artistic movement. The movement was founded in 1901 by Émile Gallé, Louis Majorell, Victor Prouvé, Antonin Daum, Eugène Vallin and, later, Jacques Gruber. I visited the museum recently and can certainly recommend it. The museum is housed in a property formerly owned by Jean-Baptiste Eugène Corbion, an important patron and collector of École de Nancy artwork. The garden was restored in 1998 in École de Nancy style as well as an oak door created in 1897 by Eugène Vallin at the request of Emile Gallé for his workshop, a funerary monument, erected in 1901 at the Preville cemetery in Nancy and the work of the architect Girard and Parisian sculptor Pierre Roche and the pavilion aquarium attributed to the architect Lucien Weissenburger and decorated with Jacques Gruber's stained glass. Inside the museum, furniture, objets d'art, glasswork, ceramics and fabrics show the diversity of techniques employed by the École de Nancy artists. The museum does not aim for a strict recreation of the 1900s décor, but instead tries to reproduce the atmosphere and ambiance of the period by placing the artwork in an appropriate context. The small wood inlaid furniture, acid engraved glass and ceramics demonstrate how important the thos of 'art for all' was for art nouveau artists.
There is an extensive collection of glass and ceramic works by Émile Gallé in the museum including examples of Gallé's furniture designs including Les Parfums d'autrefois ("The Scents of the Past"), Le Rhin ("the Rhine") table and the Aube et Crépuscule ("Dawn and Twilight”) bed. Louis Majorell's elegant furniture is also on display, a notable example of which is the grand piano decorated with pinecone motifs and Victor Prouvé's marquetry design. Prouvé contributed to the production and realization of the extraordinary Masson dining room. Carried out in 1904 by Charles Masson, brother-in-law of Eugène Corbin, the dining room affirms Vallin’s virtuosity and demonstrates École de Nancy’s originality in its search for the unity of art.
Musée de l’École de Nancy
Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m
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