Room 10 from École de Dieulouard is among the incredible masterworks from The Boyd Collection. This complete, demountable structure, was designed by Jean Prouvé in 1952–1953 and is one of four rooms that were disassembled and sold in 2012.
Room 10: Jean Prouvé, École de Dieulouard
Few reputations have soared as stunningly as that of Jean Prouvé (1901–84), a metal craftsman turned designer and builder. Le Corbusier declared that Prouvé "combined the soul of an engineer with that of an architect", but—since he lacked professional qualifications-—such appreciation was rare in his lifetime. Ironically, it was he, not the architects, who brought good design to the masses. He is finally receiving his due as an intuitive genius. "Never design anything that cannot be made" was his mantra, and his strong, simple pieces are imbued with the personality of a skilled artisan, who sketched, prototyped, and refined hundreds of designs before putting them into production. He cared nothing for fashion or social acceptance, and everything he created has a timeless character.
Like Gerrit Rietveld, whose father crafted traditional furniture, Prouvé learned the skill of ironworking from his father and other metalworkers. As an artisan who was born, lived and died in Nancy, a provincial capital in northeastern France, he was a hands-on innovator, welding sheet metal and opening his own atelier in 1923. In 1947 he established a factory in Maxéville, outside Nancy, but lost it within a decade. Nothing deterred, he built a house for his family from scavenged parts, and collaborated with Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand on their projects while continuing to pursue his own.
For how many years do we build today? Houses should be built to last 25 to 30 years. What is built in concrete lasts for centuries, it cannot be destroyed again. For urban planners, such long lasting construction is a catastrophe, it blocks potential construction sites […] I’d much rather see buildings for about 30 years (one generation), so that afterward they can be moved or torn down (used again or sold on the second-hand market). Our children will want to do something completely different.
In 2012, Jean Prouvé's École de Dieulouard was dismantled. The school was composed of nine demountable classrooms. Four of the classrooms were retained, one of which was gifted to the city of Nancy (Prouvé's home town) and three others were sold at auction. The present lot is one of the three sold, the second example resides in a private collection and the third example is at Tokyo Museum of Modern Art at Okayama, Japan.
Watch a video of the school being dismantled:
International Style: The Boyd Collection
Collecting is a way of life for Michael and Gabrielle Boyd. The Boyds have amassed a collection that is unparalleled in scope and breadth encompassing everything from modern masterpieces and art to everyday furnishings, objects and books.
On November 8th and 9th, Wright presents more than 600 works from their exceptional collection at auction.
8 November 2018 | 10 am central
II. Room 10
8 November 2018 | 11 am central
III. Life of Design
8 November 2018 | 11 am central
IV. Word and Image
9 November 2018 | 10 am central
The works in this extraordinary sale will be published in four parts, each celebrated in a bespoke, full-color catalog capturing the creative and modernist vision of Michael and Gabrielle Boyd. Reserve your copy today!
Jean Prouvé 1901–1984
Jean Prouvé was born in Nancy, France, in 1901. Prouvé‘s father Victor founded the École de Nancy, an Art Nouveau school that focused on hand-made objects. Apprenticing with an ironsmith as a teenager, he learned the value of simple forms and metalworking techniques. Prouvé founded his studio, Ateliers Jean Prouvé in 1923 and created restrained metal objects that rejected excess decoration. Within his workshop, he favored industrial materials like sheet steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. Engineers employed these materials in the emerging aircraft industry, and these materials inspired Prouvé to design a pre-fabricated houses with Le Corbusier in 1923 that was reminiscent of aircraft design. Working with Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, Prouvé created breathtaking furniture that forged the process of prefabrication. Prouvé tirelessly focused on finding creative and useful solutions to design problems throughout his career, crafting everything from aluminum vacation homes to university bookcases, living by his words that one should “never design anything that cannot be made.”