Born in Paris, Dufrêne became one of the worlds finest decorative artists using a variety of different material, including ceramics, metal and glass as well using top quality wood. He took an early interest in furniture making by finding off cuts of wood and other materials left over that he found in his fathers supply and made them into art pieces - this really ignited the artist in him.
Although Dufrêne originally set his sights on being a painter, he took a position La Maison Moderne which displayed pieces from the popular Art Nouveau style - he later moved on to Art Deco and at aged just 23 became the gallery’s director. He worked with many esteemed designers and continued working on his own designs. From the early 1900’s he displayed his work at Salon d'Automne. Soon after, Dufrêne alongside other designers, founded the Societé des artistes décorateurs, and would have his work on display for many years.
In 1921 Dufrêne was given the huge honour of leading the Maîtrise workshop. At the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris (where the term Art Deco originated from) he led Maîtrise exhibition and decorated the interior, filling the exhibition with paintings and many stunning decorative items.
Dufrêne was a decisive individual which completely showed through in his work – he was often outspoken and was not afraid to criticise popular fashion. An example of this was when he made it clear that he was not a fan of the tubular steel metal chairs – ‘the root cause of the great Dullness’. Dufrêne passed away in 1955 but his legacy lives on through his work and he passed on his knowledge to some rather lucky students when he was a teacher at The École Boulle - a college of fine arts and crafts in Paris, as well as École des Arts Appliqués.