Paul Follot (1877 – 1941) French decorative artist and sculptor

Paul Follot design - 1930
Paul Follot design – 1930

Paul Follot (1877-1941) was a French sculptor and decorative artist.

Biography

His early graphic design reflected a fascination with mediaeval and Pre-Raphaelite art. He joined Julius Meier-shop Graefe’s La Maison Moderne in Paris in 1901. He met Maurice Dufréne and designed bronzes, jewellery, and fabrics.

He was a founding member of the artists’ collective L’Art dans Tout. In 1904 he started as an independent artist. From the abundance of carved decoration influenced by English styles to the 18th-century style tapissier. Follot began to seek des architectures calmes (‘tranquil architecture’) in the emerging Art Déco style in c1909—10. He used beautiful and rare materials, refined techniques, and harmonious and balanced forms.

Wedgwood commissioned him to design a ceramic line in 1911, but production was halted by World War I until 1919. He helped decorate ocean liners such as the 1921 Paris and the appartement de luxe for the 1935 Normandie.

  • Art Deco desk by Paul Follot
  • Clock designed by Paul Follot

He took over as professor of an advanced course in Parisian decorative arts from Grasset. In 1923, he was appointed artistic director of the interior-design studio Pomone of the Au Bon Marché department store in Paris. Schenck manufactured his rugs.

He designed silver for Orfevrerie Christofle in the early 1920s and Lapparra in 1925. Laurent Malclés and Harribey created the wood carving on his furniture. His wife, Hélene Follot, painted wall panels and pictures for him.

Furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, carpets, and ceramics were among the items created. In 1928, he was named co-director of Waring and Gillow’s Modern Art Department, along with Serge Chermayeff. It first opened in 1928 with an exhibition of approximately 60 furnished Modern interiors. He was also a teacher and theorist; he considered ornamentation an essential element of design and was uninterested in le style 25’s minimalism. He rejected “mass-production art” in favour of the aristocratic tradition of luxury.

Exhibitions

His work was first shown at the Société des Artistes Francais Salon in 1901, and later at the Société des Artistes Décorateurs 1919-35, Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and Salon d’Automne 1920—32. At the 1925 Paris ‘Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes,’ he designed a display for Pomone at the Au Bon Marché exhibit, the antechamber of ‘Une Ambassade francaise,’ and motifs for Maison Pleyel (including three Pleyel pianos in various pavilions) and the Pavillon de Roubaix-Tourcoing.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Paul Follot clock. 1930.fr. (n.d.). https://1930.fr/paul-follot-clock.html.

Soubrier, E. (n.d.). Art Deco desk by Paul Follot – Soubrier Antiquities and Decoration. Location Mobiliers Soubrier Décoration – Louer mobilier ancien et contemporain. https://www.soubrier.com/en/catalogue/product/bur26-art-deco-desk-by-paul-follot.html.

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