Jean Prouvé  (French, 1901-1984) 

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Jean Prouvé (French, April 8, 1901–March 23, 1984) was an architect and designer whose work had a widespread influence on furniture design techniques. Prouvé was not educated in art, though he grew up around the art collective l'École de Nancy, of which his father was a member. This experience made him love art, and was very influential to his career. The greatest influence was the ideal of the collective for making art accessible. Instead of studying art, Prouvé was apprenticed to a blacksmith, who taught him the fundamentals of metalworking. On the side, he taught himself architecture and design.

After his apprenticeship, he worked in a metal workshop, soon leaving it to open his own workshop in 1923. This workshop led Prouvé to further his design skills, as well as develop his work ethic. In 1930, he helped to found the Union of Modern Artists. In 1931, he opened a larger workshop, the Ateliers Jean Prouvé, meant to give him the space he needed to mass-produce his designs. While working in the shop, Prouvé began collaborating with several architects, including Eugène Beaudouin (French, 1898–1983) and Marcel Lods (French, 1891–1978), on building projects. He also collaborated with Charlotte Perriand (French, 1903–1999) and Pierre Jeanneret (Swiss, 1896–1967) on furniture designs. The work at Ateliers was not interrupted during World War II, as a result of the construction of the Pyrobal stove, which had the ability to burn any fuel. During the war, Prouvé was also active with the French Resistance, earning him a position as the Mayor of Nancy after the war, a spot on the Advisory Assembly, as well as the position of Departmental Inspector for Technical Education. His business was also contracted to manufacture frame houses for refugees.

In 1947, after World War II, Prouvé opened the Maxéville factory. This factory was intended to further extend his ability to mass-produce his designs. His experiences with the framed houses also aided him in creating aluminum sheds, which he sent to Africa. His research into aluminum building techniques led him to create a prefabricated house known as the Maison Tropicale, however only three were built. Prouvé continued with his design work for years, opening Constructions Jean Prouvé for building. A collaboration with Jean Dimitrijevic (French, 1926–2010) between 1952 and 1962 resulted in the creation of the glass, steel, and aluminum structure, Musée des Beaux Arts du Havre. Prouvé's work was instrumental in the development of nomadic architecture. His belief was that everything, from a house to a chair, should be portable.

The designer’s work has been exhibited around the world; Maison Tropicale has been displayed at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, his furniture has been displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Pacific Design Center, and his photos and drawings of the Maison Tropicale has been displayed at the Small Space Gallery in Perloff Hall at UCLA in Los Angeles. Prouvé's work is controlled by the Jean Prouvé estate, with many of his original creations being reproduced for sale by Vitra in Germany.

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Artworks for sale (42)
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Jean Prouvé, Sun-shutter (from The cité scolaire de La Dullague, Béziers)

 

Jean Prouvé
Sun-shutter (from The cité scolaire de La Dullague, Béziers)
1962-1965

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Demountable entry lodge (from Ferembal, Nancy)

 

Jean Prouvé
Demountable entry lodge (from Ferembal, Nancy)
1943-1944

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Panel (from The Institut de l'Environnement, Paris)

 

Jean Prouvé
Panel (from The Institut de l'Environnement, Paris)
1968

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Façade porthole panel (from The Bouqueval school)

 

Jean Prouvé
Façade porthole panel (from The Bouqueval school)
1949

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Marcoule bench (from The CEA, Marcoule)

 

Jean Prouvé
Marcoule bench (from The CEA, Marcoule)
1955

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Row of two lecture theatre chairs with adjustable seats, designed for the Faculté de Lettres, Université de Besançon

 

Jean Prouvé
Row of two lecture theatre chairs with adjustable seats, designed for the Faculté de Lettres, Université de Besançon
1952-1956

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Row of two lecture theatre chairs with adjustable seats, designed for the Faculté de Lettres, Université de Besançon

 

Jean Prouvé
Row of two lecture theatre chairs with adjustable seats, designed for the Faculté de Lettres, Université de Besançon
1952-1956

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Row of three lecture theatre chairs with adjustable seats, designed for the Faculté de Lettres, Université de Besançon

 

Jean Prouvé
Row of three lecture theatre chairs with adjustable seats, designed for the Faculté de Lettres, Université de Besançon
1952-1956

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Jean Prouvé, Coat rack, designed for Cité Technique, Cachan

 

Jean Prouvé
Coat rack, designed for Cité Technique, Cachan
1955

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Past auction results (1640)  View All
Jean Prouvé, Lit de repos Antony

 

Jean Prouvé
Lit de repos Antony, 1955
lacquered metal, oak

 

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Jean Prouvé, Petit bureau

 

Jean Prouvé
Petit bureau, 1955
oak, lacquered sheet metal

 

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Workshop Of Jean Prouvé, Etagère de type nuage

 

Workshop Of Jean Prouvé
Etagère de type nuage
ash, lacquered metal

 

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