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Jean Prouvé

French, 1901-1984

Engineer and metalsmith, self-taught designer and architect, manufacturer and teacher, Jean Prouvé was a key force in the evolution of 20th-century French design, introducing a style that combined economy of means and stylistic chic. Along with his frequent client and collaborator Le Corbusier and others, Prouvé, using his practical skills and his understanding of industrial materials, steered French modernism onto a path that fostered principled, democratic approaches to architecture and design.

Prouvé was born in Nancy, a city with a deep association with the decorative arts. (It is home, for example, to the famed Daum crystal manufactory.) His father, Victor Prouvé, was a ceramist and a friend and co-worker of such stars of the Art Nouveau era as glass artist Émile Gallé and furniture maker Louis Majorelle. Jean Prouvé apprenticed to a blacksmith, studied engineering, and produced ironwork for such greats of French modernism as the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens. In 1931, he opened the firm Atelier Prouvé. There, he perfected techniques in folded metal that resulted in his Standard chair (1934) and other designs aimed at institutions such as schools and hospitals.

During World War II, Prouvé was a member of the French Resistance, and his first postwar efforts were devoted to designing metal pre-fab housing for those left homeless by the conflict. In the 1950s, Prouvé would unite with Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret (Le Corbusier’s cousin) on numerous design projects. In 1952, he and Perriand and artist Sonia Delaunay created pieces for the Cité Internationale Universitaire foundation in Paris, which included the colorful, segmented bookshelves that are likely Prouvé’s and Perriand’s best-known designs. The pair also collaborated on 1954’s Antony line of furniture, which again, like the works on 1stDibs, demonstrated a facility for combining material strength with lightness of form.

Prouvé spent his latter decades mostly as a teacher. His work has recently won new appreciation: in 2008 the hotelier Andre Balazs purchased at auction (hammer price: just under $5 million) the Maison Tropicale, a 1951 architectural prototype house that could be shipped flat-packed, and was meant for use by Air France employees in the Congo. Other current Prouvé collectors include Brad Pitt, Larry Gagosian, Martha Stewart and the fashion designer Marc Jacobs. The rediscovery of Jean Prouvé — given not only the aesthetic and practical power of his designs, but also the social conscience his work represents — marks one of the signal “good” aspects of collecting vintage 20th century design. An appreciation of Jean Prouvé is an appreciation of human decency.

Average Sold Price
$7,094
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Jean Prouvé
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Standard Chair
Standard Chair
Compas Direction Desk
Compas Direction Desk
Set of 3 Jean Prouvé Tabouret Solvay Stools in American Walnut
By Jean Prouvé
Located in Glendale, CA
Set of 3 Jean Prouvé Tabouret Solvay stools in American walnut. Tabouret Solvay bears the unmistakable signature of Jean Prouvé, reflecting an aesthetic based on structural requireme...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Mid-Century Modern Jean Prouvé

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé Bed Model SCAL 452, circa 1950
By Jean Prouvé
Located in Paris, FR
Jean Prouvé (1901-1984) Rare bed mod. SCAL No. 452, circa 1950 Base and structure in folded sheet steel and black lacquered steel tubes, solid wood glides, Linen. Steph Simon Edit...
Category

1950s Vintage Jean Prouvé

Materials

Steel

  • Jean Prouvé Bed Model SCAL 452, circa 1950
  • Jean Prouvé Bed Model SCAL 452, circa 1950
  • Jean Prouvé Bed Model SCAL 452, circa 1950
  • Jean Prouvé Bed Model SCAL 452, circa 1950
H 22.45 in. W 77.17 in. D 35.44 in.
Jean Prouvé Standard Chair in Natural Oak and Black Metal for Vitra
By Jean Prouvé, Vitra
Located in Glendale, CA
Jean Prouvé standard chair in natural oak and black metal for Vitra. The standard chair is an early masterpiece by the French designer and engineer Jean Prouvé. Originally designed i...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Mid-Century Modern Jean Prouvé

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé 'Petite Potence' Pivoting Wall Light in Black for Vitra
By Jean Prouvé, Vitra
Located in Glendale, CA
Jean Prouvé 'Petite Potence' wall light in black for Vitra. Jean Prouvé created the first version of the Potence wall lamp in the 1940s for his own home in Nancy: a simple light bulb...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary German Mid-Century Modern Jean Prouvé

Materials

Steel

Vitra Em Table in Solid Natural Oak and Deep Black by Jean Prouvé
By Jean Prouvé, Vitra
Located in Glendale, CA
Vitra EM table in solid natural oak and deep black by Jean Prouvé. The aesthetic appearance of Jean Prouvé's EM table adheres to structural principles, illustrating the flow of force...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Swiss Mid-Century Modern Jean Prouvé

Materials

Steel

Jean Prouvé ‘Brise Soleil, Sun Shutter’, France, 1960s
By Jean Prouvé
Located in Rotterdam, NL
Jean Prouvé 'Brise Soleil -Sun Shutter designed in 1956, executed circa 1962-1965. Provenance: Cité Scolaire de la Dullague, Béziers, France. The shutters and frame are made from alu...
Category

1960s French Mid-Century Modern Vintage Jean Prouvé

Materials

Metal, Aluminum

Small Jean Prouvé Guéridon Dining Table in Natural Oak for Vitra
By Jean Prouvé, Vitra
Located in Glendale, CA
Small Jean Prouvé Guéridon dining table in natural oak for Vitra. Designed in 1949 for the University of Paris, the Guéridon is an early masterpiece by the French designer and engine...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary French Mid-Century Modern Jean Prouvé

Materials

Steel

French Modern Reclining Leather Steel Armchairs by Jean Prouvé for Tecta, 1980s
By Jean Prouvé
Located in MIlano, IT
French modern reclining leather and steel armchairs by Jean Prouvé for Tecta, 1980s Pair of reclining armchairs with seat and back upholstered in beige leather. There is a rectangul...
Category

1980s French Modern Vintage Jean Prouvé

Materials

Steel

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Jean Prouvé Sellers

Two Enlighten Los Angeles
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Galerie Patrick Seguin
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Dobrinka Salzman
5.0
GALERIE HARTER
4.2
Galerie 54 - Eric Touchaleaume
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Galerie Denoyelle Europe
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Jean Prouvé furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Furniture by Jean Prouvé are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Jean Prouvé furniture there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. 73 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 8 modern editions to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Jean Prouvé were created in Europe during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Michel Ducaroy, Votre Maison and Pierre Guariche. The prices for Jean Prouvé furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $567 and tops at $1,156,341, while pieces like these can sell for on average $12,083.

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