“The beauty of the gesture” is the new theme of exhibition at Manufacture de Sèvres, which often commissions contemporary artists to work on their premises. The wonderful workshops are only accessible on demand but a small gallery has just opened on the ground floor of the museum and you can dream about acquiring a vase by Nicolas Buffe (80 000€) or one by Ettore Sottsass, (25 000€). I fell for Julio Le Parc’s, “The Wave” (33 000€). During school vacations there are demonstrations of the savoir faire of the Manufacture. Do not miss these very special moments.
When you wander around the first floor galleries, your eye is stopped in every room by splendid vases, sculptures, royal plates and even a secretary with porcelain made in 1870. There are collections of treasures from all around Europe including from Meissen, where I discovered an intriguing little Chinese character. The contrast between a Lalanne sculpture and a huge Vase Neptune made in 1867, Annabelle d’Huart’s refined jewelry and Etienne Hadju’s Gensoli vase is just mind-blowing.
I particularly laughed at the Elephant feet vases, made in stoneware clay by Hervé Rousseau in 2003, and loved the bowls by Jay Kvapil in basaltic earth. A whole collection of stoneware sculptures by contemporary artists is visible in one of the large rooms. It includes Danish artist Turi Heisselberg Pedersen and Swedish Eva Hild.
Once you have visited the galleries, stop by the “showroom” where everything is for sale. There are a number of master classes for adults and children mostly on Saturdays and Sundays, films shown downstairs and a visit of a workshop every third Thursday of the month at 2 pm. The artisans will give demonstrations of their talent during the school vacations in October, February and April.
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