Editions Norma is a remarkable publishing house which always publishes refined books with the greatest care. Founded and run by Maïté Hudry, it specializes in 1920 to 1970’s architecture and design, but has recently published the catalog of an exhibition of sneakers “Playground” which took place in Bordeaux. And their latest publication is about “Jean Dunand”, by Amélie and father Felix Marcilhac whose son, Felix Felix, now runs the famous gallery of 8 rue Bonaparte. Jean Dunand was the decorator of Solomon R. Guggenheim’s music room in 1925, he worked for Charles Templeton Crocker in San Francisco in 1928 and is most famous for his decors of the ship Normandie built in 1934 to sail from Le Havre to New York with a stopover in Southampton. In 1939 he creates the French pavilion at the International Exhibition in New York. 18 monumental panels of horses from the Normandie’s smoking room are being auctioned in Le Havre this Saturday, February 20 at 3 pm, by Maitre Allix and Revol.
The 313 m long Normandie was the fastest ship in 1935 and its interior decoration was done by the greatest French artists of the time. Jules Leleu, Jacques Emile Ruhlmann, René Lalique work along Dunand on the fastuous furniture. This was the third ship that he decorated after Ile de France in 1927 and l’Atlantique in 1929. Normandie only sailed until August 23, 1939 and was parked in New York harbor during the war. While being transformed to carry the military to Europe as the USS Lafayette, she burned down. But its decors had been stored into cases in 1941 and stayed in New York. They would be assembled again on the ship Ile de France after the war.
Jean Dunand sadly died during the war in 1942, having lost one son. He is 65. There are many of his works at the Metropolitan museum, at the Virignia Museum of Fine arts and at Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris. Amélie Marcilhac who wrote the book with her father, is the expert and you can find some of his works at their gallery.
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