Michel Dufet

FRENCH, 1888-1985


Despite being one of the lesser-celebrated contributors to the Art Deco movement, Michel Dufet led a fruitful professional journey throughout the 20th century as an architect, visual artist and art critic. His designs encompassed elegant yet practical furniture pieces that have since become sought-after collectibles across the globe. In 1913, Dufet established Mobilier Artistique Modern (MAM), a creative workshop dedicated to crafting modern furniture, illuminating fixtures, intricate fabrics and appealing wallpaper. Alongside this achievement, he nurtured other artistic passions such as launching Feuillets d'Art magazine in 1918. This venture was a collaborative effort with renowned poet and playwright Paul Claudel, Nobel laureate Andr Gide, famed novelist Marcel Proust and celebrated composer Gabriel Fauré.

In the vibrant year of 1928, Dufet made his triumphant return to the illustrious city of Paris in order to supervise the Atelier d'Art du Bûcheron's renowned design studio, Le Sylve, alongside esteemed art critic Léandre Vaillant. During his tenure there, Dufet gained notoriety for his innovative use of exotic woods such as satinwood, walnut, mahogany and rosewood. He also began interweaving subtle Cubist elements into designs for regal commodes, polished cabinets, exquisite dining room tables and elaborate buffets. Dufet's bold armchairs and plush club chairs were distinguished by a uniquely geometric style that saw armrests and bases typically adopting overtly square or semi-circle forms. Throughout the thriving decade of the 1930s, Dufet was sought after for numerous design commissions which spanned from theatrical set designs and film sets to lavish interiors for opulent ocean liners. In addition to this dynamic portfolio, he also ascended to the position of editor-in-chief of the bi-monthly publication Décor d'Aujourd'hui (Today's Décor) in 1933.

Throughout the bustling decade of the 1930s, Dufet was bestowed with numerous prestigious design commissions that spanned across various domains like theatre set designs, cinematic sets, and opulent interiors for luxury ocean liners. His creative prowess didn't stop there as he ascended to the position of editor-in-chief in 1933 for the bi-monthly publication, D cor d Aujourd hui (Today's Decor). As years rolled by, Dufet sustained his artistic passion by crafting furniture designs albeit on a comparably smaller scale.

In an eventful turn of events during 1947, he tied the knot with the daughter of eminent French sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. After this pivotal alliance, he devoted most of his time safeguarding and promoting his father-in-law's artistic legacy and works from 1950 onward. By 1972, Dufet took up the esteemed role of curator at Musée Bourdelle until eventually retiring before his peaceful departure from life in 1985