French Furniture, Textile, Glassware, Ceramic and Silverware Designer.
Born in Paris in 1876, Maurice Dufrene was educated at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 1899, at the age of just 23, he became the director and manager of La Maison Moderne, an association of artists who worked together to create designs which could be produced in multiples.
His work was first shown at salons in 1902, and from 1903 he regularly exhibited at Salon d’Automne and Salons of Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. In 1904, he helped cofound Société des Artistes Décorateurs which became a pivotal artists’ organization whose annual exhibitions were well-documented by the press.
In 1922 he became creator and director of La Maîtrise design studio of Les Galeries Lafayette in Paris - and the full flowering of his talent became apparent in his refined furniture designs and complete interiors. His inspiration was taken from 18th and 19th Century designs, with a modern approach.
At the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (which would later give the movement “Art Deco” its name), Dufrene’s designs included luxury boutiques, the living room of Une Ambassade Française pavilion, and the interior of La Maîtrise pavilion.
He taught at the Ecole Boulle and the Ecole des Arts Appliqués in Paris and was one of the principal designers of the first modernist film sets (1919 film Le carnaval des vérités).
His interiors ranged eclectically from townhouses to avant-garde to glass, metal and mirrors, to commissions from Mobilier National for embassies and the Palais de l’Elysée in Paris. He would remain at La Maîtrise until 1952.