Henry Cros is surprising at MAD and the gala was so cheerful!

parisdiaArt, Fashion2 Comments

Vase with pastoral topic, cir 1895-1900, pâte de verre, Musée du Louvre

It is a small show on sculptor and drawer Henry Cros that MAD has organized in its second floor galleries, but it is worth seeing especially since curator Jean- Luc Olivié, in charge of glass at the museum, has studied this artist’s work since he was a student.  If you have not been to “Fashion and Sport” (until April 7) in the Grande Nef or to the exceptional show devoted to Iris Van Herpern, this makes it even more mandatory. Admired by Rodin and Bourdelle, Cros belonged to a talented family: the poet and inventor Charles Cros and doctor Antoine Cros were his brothers. In the salon rue Chaptal of Nina de Vilars de Callias, Charles’s lover, who was painted by Manet, they met Paul Verlaine and publisher André Gill as well as actors of the literary world of the 1860-1870. What I particularly liked is the mix of techniques that he uses. Glazed earthenware, polychrome terracotta, “pâte de verre” (glass paste) as well as bronze and marble are all documented by watercolor projects from his personal diaries, which entered the collections of Musée des Arts Décoratifs,  in 1993.

The Flame, circa 1900, pâte de verre, private collection

MAD owns a large collection of drawings by the artist who was a romantic, a Neo classic or a symbolist? It hasn’t been decided. One hundred of his works exhibited here have for theme children, fairy tales and dreamed characters from the Antiquity. His drawings were a good excuse for Musée des Arts Décoratifs to throw, on Sunday night, a gala dinner where many actors of Salon du Dessin were present. Ninety people assembled in the salon des boiseries which features wood panelings from all periods as well as a majestic glass suspension by Paolo Venini.

La Promenade, 1874, polychrome wax on wood, private collection-Oscar Graf gallery

Bénédicte Gady, who is head curator of the collection of graphic arts (900 000 works), was very funny when she thanked her first supporters, Lionel Sauvage and Daniel Thierry, Hervé Aaron, Hubert Goldschmidt, Benjamin Steinitz,  Jacques Lacoste, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, Christopher Ohrstrom…  She mentioned that with her young team of curators and PHD students, they calculated they would need over 600 more years to catalog and restore each drawing. The atmosphere was extremely friendly with passionate curators and collectors. Pierre and Béatrice Rosenberg were present with Prince Amyn Aga Khan, a generous patron of the arts, and so was David Lachenmann with his beautiful wife Fatou. Daniel Marchesseau and Daniel Thierry were chatting away as old friends, Alice Goldet presided the main table with the President of Cercle des Arts Graphiques, Lionel Sauvage, a keen collector himself.

Alexandre de Voguë, Hubert Goldschmidt and Christophe Leribault

Many guests were just back from Maastricht which everyone loved this year and getting ready to attend Salon du Dessin tomorrow. The atmosphere was completely friendly and to have been able to gather so many busy art lovers on a Sunday night was a miracle. A little concert of Fauré melodies preceded the dinner in the 1900 salon Hoentschel, with the soprano Clémence Barrabé and harpist Iris Torossian. Christophe Leribault, the new president of Versailles, was joking with Alexandre de Voguë, whose family owns Vaux le Vicomte, about the vicissitudes of running large castles. While Alexis Kugel was discussing the precious activities of the World Monument’s Fund whose latest restoration is a chapel in Eglise Sainte Eustache.

Lionel Sauvage with Clémence Barrabé and Iris Torossian

The new director of Fondation Custodia, Stijn Alsteens, who leaves the drawings department at Christie’s at the end of the week, was discussing his plans for the enlargement of the premises on rue de Lille. He is Belgian and lives in Paris with his Dutch wife, a translator from the Russian… and his family.

“Gitane des Pyrénées”, salon of 1882, Sèvres Manufacture et Musées nationaux, is the curator Jean-Luc Olivié’s favorite piece

The evening was perfect thanks to its serious collecting crowd, beautiful flowers designed by Studio Cé and a delicious dinner by “A Table“. Daniel Thierry provided the good wine and Maison Taittinger, the champagne. The world of drawings is obviously less flashy than the contemporary art world!

Iris von Herpen until April 28, Fashion and Sport until April 7, Henry Cros until May 26, at MAD.

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2 Comments on “Henry Cros is surprising at MAD and the gala was so cheerful!”

  1. Bravo Laure pour ton bel article sur l’exposition Henri Cros et la dynamique équipe des Arts graphiques et du verre au musée des Arts décoratifs

  2. Chere Madame, Chere Laure
    merci pour ce riche et positif article sur Cros et le gala du dessin
    au plaisir
    Jean Luc Olivié

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