Jean Prouvé France, 1901-1984


Jean Prouvé (b. 1901, Paris, France; d. 1984, Nancy, France) was born into a family of artists and grew up in the community of the Art Nouveau collective École de Nancy, which aimed to connect art and industry more closely—a goal that would prove to become Prouvé’s greatest legacy. An architect, designer, and engineer, Prouvé began his career as an apprentice to a blacksmith and then as a metalworker at a workshop in Paris. He further established himself by opening several studios in Nancy by 1923. There, the artist focused mainly on wrought-iron furniture and design works. In the late 1920s, Prouvé increasingly worked with architects, and by 1931, opened Ateliers Jean Prouvé. Through his esteemed atelier, Prouvé collaborated with architects and furniture designers alike, including Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret. As a self-proclaimed ‘factory man,’ Prouvé blended his architectural and engineering skills to develop his atelier into a site of mass production. Combining industrial engineering and the post-World War II modern aesthetic, Prouvé designed everything from chairs to railings and gates to prefabricated housing models. His works can be found in major collections such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.