FRANK Jean-Michel

Jean-Michel Frank was born in Paris in 1895. He studied at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly, obtained his baccalaureate in 1911, then studied law. Once these studies were completed, he began to work as an interior decorator. The first apartments he decorated were those of Pierre Drieu La Rochelle in 1921 and those of the publisher Nancy Cunard on the Ile Saint-Louis in 1924. In 1926, he was commissioned to furnish the salons and smoking room of the Bischoffsheim Hotel, Place des Etats-Unis, for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles; the walls of the smoking room were covered with parchment. This installation was to reveal him to the whole of Paris. Two years later, he decorated the home of the billionaire Templeton-Crocker in San Francisco, an extremely luxurious project that established his style. In 1930, he joined forces with the cabinetmaker Adolphe Chanaux and created minimalist furniture, objects and lighting, using materials such as straw, leather, shagreen, mica, plaster and parchment. Together they developed various specific shaping techniques, including sandblasted oak. In parallel to his work for wealthy individuals, Jean-Michel Frank decorated the boutiques of several fashion designers such as Robert Piguet, Lucien Lelong and Elsa Schiaparelli. Success was immediate and following the decoration of the homes of billionaires Jorge Born and Nelson Rockefeller, prestigious commissions poured in. From then on, Jean-Michel Frank was recognised internationally. He became the artistic director of the company Chanaux & Cie, and brought together artists such as Christian Bérard, Emilio Terry and Alberto Giacometti. Giacometti created objects and lighting for Frank - in terracotta, plaster and bronze - for almost twelve years. In 1935, he opens a shop at number 140 rue du faubourg Saint Honoré. In 1939 the Chanaux workshops close for good and in July 1940 Jean-Michel Frank leaves France and lands in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He dies in New York in 1941.

Documentary on Jean-Michel Frank - Arte