Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann was born in Paris in 1879. In 1907, he took over the family painting business and refocused its activities to make furniture, rugs, objects, and bronze lights. His first customer was fashion designer Jacques Doucet. In 1911, he began exhibiting regularly at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. In 1923, he opened a cabinetry workshop (later adding another), in which he designed and supervised the building of each piece. At the 1925 Exposition of Decorative Arts, he had the Hôtel du Collectionneur pavilion built. It was a reflection of his taste for luxury and his instinct for moderation. He subsequently did some interior décors and furniture for the Elysée palace and several government ministers and private clients. He passed away in 1933 at the height of his career.