Prouvé was born in Nancy, France, to a large artistic family. His father was an artist who was a member of the art collective l'École de Nancy and his mother a gifted pianist. It was, perhaps, natural for him to follow in the art world. Prouvé studied at The School of Fine Arts in Nancy and then completed an apprenticeship as a blacksmith. With the new skills and his obvious design talents, he opened his own workshop and had success in making several items including wrought iron lamps and chandeliers.
The cross over to furniture was the next step but he did not forget his blacksmith skills and incorporated them into many of his designs, using steel and devising techniques that enabled him to create hollow sections efficiently and embarking on producing stylish, workable and easy to reproduce items. His standard folding chair a perfect example. It was his methodical approach to design and manufacturing that made him one of the main figures of his generation.
Not only to be remembered for his revolutionary furniture, Prouvé was a gifted architect and after WWII, (he was a member of the French Resistance) he was instrumental in designing metal pre-fab houses for those poor souls who were left homeless as a result of the war.
Prouvé’s final years were spent as a lecturer before he passed away in his beloved Nancy in 1984. To honour his efforts and designs, his work is displayed in both Musée des Beaux-Arts and Musée de l’Histoire du Fer. Prouvé is still as popular now as he ever was and has a huge celebrity following including the likes of Brad Pitt and Marc Jacobs are both reportedly collectors of his work.