Charles Plumet (1861 – 1928) French architect, decorator and ceramicist

Pelleport - spaceship entrance by Charles Plummet
Pelleport – spaceship entrance by Charles Plummet

Charles Plumet (1861 – 1928) worked as an artist, decorator, and ceramist in France.


In the year 1861, Charles Plumet was born. As an architect, he built structures in the mediaeval and early French Renaissance styles. He worked on interiors and furniture designs in Art Nouveau styles with Tony Selmersheim (1871–1971). Between 1896 and 1901, Charles Plumet joined l’Art dans Tout (Art in Everything), an association of architects, painters, and sculptors who consciously attempted to renew decorative art, adopting styles ranging from adapted mediaeval to Art Nouveau. Tony Selmersheim, Henri Sauvage, Henri Nocq, Alexandre Charpentier, Félix Aubert, Jean Dampt, and Étienne Moreau-Nélaton were the other participants.


Plumet was a firm believer in functionalism and opposed the École des Beaux-Arts’ academic approach. In 1902 he expressed the principle that “forms derive from needs”. In 1907, he published two articles in L’Art et les artistes on regional architecture, in which he claimed that architecture should be integrated with the landscape. He wrote an article in which he admired Louis Bonnier (1856-1946), whom he believed had carefully adapted forms to circumstances and needs, but he scorned landscape-inspired architecture. “Like a flower or plant,” he said, architecture should “grow in its environment.” He did, however, adhere to the functionalist perspective that designers should integrate elements such as balconies, terraces, porches, or gables “as the context implies” to express “the dweller’s needs in terms of environment, orientation, and view.”

Display table with two chairs - Charles Plumet
Display table with two chairs – Charles Plumet

Partnership with Selmersheim

Selmersheim and Plumet had established themselves as the leading Art Nouveau firm in Paris by the turn of the twentieth century. They attempted to merge French taste with British and Belgian design developments. The result would likely be elegant. Plumet’s facades often featured polychrome fabrics, bay windows, and one-sided galleries. Apart from the inclusion of curvilinear ornamentation, which was uncommon, the buildings were not incredibly innovative. Plumet and Selmersheim, according to Gustave Soulier, were genuinely revolutionary in their furniture designs, combining craftsmanship, beauty, and functionality.

Exposition des Arts Décoratifs
Exposition des Arts Décoratifs

The Salon d’automne was presided over by Frantz Jourdain in 1908, with Plumet as vice-president and Henri Sauvage as sectional president for architecture. Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, later known as Le Corbusier, paid each of these three a visit while searching for jobs. None of them could make a substantial contribution. Plumet was the mastermind behind the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs (1925).


Wikipedia contributors. (2021, March 26). Charles Plumet. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:06, April 2, 2021, from

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