The Musée des Arts Décoratifs have more than 750,000 works with National Collection status. Help us to preserve and enrich our collections.

Support the restoration of the Lanvin Collection

Robe en 2 parties, Jeanne Lanvin, collection été 1916
Sergé de soie, jupon en cannelé de coton bordé d’un volant de dentelle au crochet. Inv. UF 88-60-1 ABCD
© MAD, Paris / photo : Jean Tholance

Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946) was one of the major french couturiers of the 20th century. Although it no longer produces Haute Couture, the House of Lanvin is the oldest couture house still in activity. Jeanne Lanvin was born into a modest working-class family and began working when she was thirteen, in 1880, as an apprentice dressmaker for several milliners and hat shops. She opened her first shop to sell her own creations, then mostly hats. She revealed her talent as a couturier with a children’s collection inspired by the birth of her daughter, then launched her first women’s collection in 1909. From then on, she was chiefly known for her dresses and use of color. The perfect finishing of her outfits also contributed to her fame. Characterized by their typically french elegance, her garments succeed in emphasizing the personality of their wearer without dominating. During the 1920s, the House of Lanvin developed considerably, diversifying into interior decoration, perfumes and men’s couture. After Jeanne Lanvin’s death in 1946, a series of designers continued to create for the House of Lanvin, including her daughter Marie-Blanche de Polignac, Claude Montana and Alber Elbaz; and the couture house has also changed ownership several times.

The Lanvin collection is extremely comprehensive. Composed of 144 pieces, it comprises day dresses, evening dresses, coats and accessories (hats and bags).

Support the Cabinet des Dessins

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, “Jeune fille debout, vue de profil”
© MAD, Paris / Jean Tholance

With around 200,000 works the Cabinet des Dessins of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs conserves one of the most important collection of drawings in France and abroad.

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs preserves an extraordinary collection of priceless drawings that bridges centuries including works by Rococo artist Boucher, French cabinetmaker to Louis XIV André Charles Boulle and Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Estimated at 200,000 drawings, the Cabinet des Dessins (Study Room for Drawings) presents a wide panorama of works spanning from the 16th Century to the present day with illustrations from Europe and beyond.

Seven fields are of particular interest: Fine Arts, Architectural, Interior design, Furniture, Jewelry and metalwork, Textile and Fashion drawings

Certain drawings held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs are well known and frequently loaned, such as the Study for a Clock by François Boucher, the Portrait of Charles Lethière as a Child made by Ingres in Rome in 1818 and the textile designs by Sonia Delaunay.

Robert Mallet-Stevens, “Pavillon du Tourisme à l’exposition internationale des Arts Décoratifs de 1925”
© MAD, Paris / Jean Tholance

But many remain to be identified. In an article published in Apollo in 2004, the famous British art historian Timothy Clifford sought to attract attention to the importance of the collection by publishing never-before-seen drawings by Parmigianino, A. Carracci and Domenico Guidi. Since then, David Pullins, art historian and curator at New York’s Frick Collection, has discovered a drawing by Watteau. We have also identified two designs for the apartments of Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse at the Tuileries Château by Charles Le Brun and Jean Nocret.

Today, almost 100,000 drawings have yet to be inventoried. Some warrant urgent restoration, for example to prevent them from tearing.

The museum wishes to bring new life to the Cabinet des Dessins, and to reaffirm the aesthetic and pedagogical ambitions of the institution’s founders. An ambitious yet essential means of sharing this important collection, The Musée des Arts Décoratifs will require significant financial contributions in order to obtain the human and material resources necessary to inventory, restore and study each work.

Support, in part, has been obtained thanks to the Getty Foundation; Help in completing this important project.

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