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Home About Designers Jean-Michel Frank
Jean-Michel Frank PDF Print E-mail
* 28th of February 1895 in Paris
† 8th of March 1941 in New York
Jean Michel Frank is a French interior designer known for minimalist interiors decorated with stream-lined but sumptuous furniture made of luxury materials.
Son of a wealthy Jewish family of from Germany descent, he grows up in Paris. At age of nine years, he attends the Lycée Janson de Sailly in Paris and in 1911 he begins his law studies.
In 1915, he was cruelly hit by the double blow of death of his two older brothers, Oscar and Georges, at the front lines of World War I and that of his father who commits suicide. Later in 1919, he looses his mother who has been in an asylum for several years – the combination of these tragedies mark his life. He inherits a small fortune, which helps him be part of Parisian life.
From 1920 to 1925, Jean Michel Frank travels and visits the world, where he lives in artistic and wealthy circles at the time. In Venice, he meets the cosmopolitan society that gathers around the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music; and Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the world famous Russian Ballet from which many famous dancers and choreographers would later arise. During this time, he is involved with Surrealism Movement, specifically the “Group of Six”, a group comprising of six French contemporary musicians.
Around 1927, Eugenia Errázuriz reveals to him the beauty of 18th Century styles and her own modern, minimalist aesthetic making him become her disciple. Eugenia Errázuriz is a Parisian style leader from 1880 into the 20th century, who paves the way for the modern minimalist aesthetics that would be taken up in fashion by Coco Chanel. Her circle of friends and protégés includes Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Jean Cocteau.
In 1930, he gets in contact with the Parisian decorator Adolphe Chanaux and decorates his apartment in Rue de Verneuil.
After that, Jean-Michel Frank and Adolphe Chanaux decide to become associates in 1931. They establish themselves in the old Groult Studios at “La Ruche”, in Rue de Montaubaun. During the next ten years, Jean Michel Frank designs for famous families like the Rockefellers and Guerlains.
In 1932, he opens his own Gallery “Jean-Michel Frank” at 140 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore with his “Ligne Jean-Michel Frank”.
During 1939-1940, Jean-Michel Frank leaves France for South America and later the United States where he lives in New York. Through the recognition of his clients and friends, Jean-Michel Frank continues his activities and teaches at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts.
In despair, nevertheless over his condition as an immigrated Jewish artist of German background, Jean-Michel Frank commits suicide by throwing himself through the window of a New York building at only 46 years old.
Jean Michel Frank is a first cousin of the disappeared Anne Frank, who gains international fame posthumously following the publication of her diary which documents her hiding experiences during the German occupation of The Netherlands in World War II.
Jean Michel Frank’s famous furniture designs include the Armchair from 1932, as well as the Armchair, the Two Seat Sofa and the Three Seat Sofa from 1930.