Patrick Frey honors René Prou
In a tribute book, Patrick Frey, at the head of the Pierre Frey house founded by his father, brings life back to René Prou, his grandfather, talented decorator of the inter-war period.
On the sign of his workshop, one could read "Furniture manufacturer designer. Elegant interiors and stores, the general installation of large hotels, fabrics, seats, bronzes, art furniture, large cruise ships and luxury trains. "Born in Nantes in 1887, graduated in 1908 from the school Bernard Palissy René Prou works at the Gouffé establishments then at Schmitt & Cie before being mobilized. It is discovered in 1919 in the autumn salon of the Grand Palais. An elegant, innovative style, at a time when decorative art is in search of modernity. This passionate surprises : purity of lines, curves and scrolls, harmony of colors, diverted materials such as lacquer, shagreen, parchment, tortoiseshell, ivory inlay, fur, glass, amaranth wood, rosewood, sycamore, magnifying glass amboine and ash, plane tree from Japan and even nickel silver, chromed steel or duralumin.
Lounge of the luxury apartment of the Atlantic liner, 1930 advertising brochure.
Decorative arts on board cruise ships, Éditions Fonmare, 1992
René Prou decorated several of the cabins of Normandy, one of the last great French luxury cruise ships.
He brings his talent to the Manufacture de Sèvres, at the Mobilier national, to private homes, shops, hotels ... He designed the Waldorf Astoria dining room in New York and a Tokyo department store. In charge of the Pomone Bon Marché art studio, he designed tableware, ceramics, lighting and art locksmithing. Paris, Cuba, De Grasse, Île-de-France, Lafayette, Colombia, Champlain, Atlantic, Normandy, Côte d'Azur ..., he decorated so many luxury liners, and sleeper cars for Orient-Express or Côte d'Azur Pullmann, that in 1933 he was awarded the Order of Maritime Merit!
The great descent of the hall, on the ground with geometrical rubber patterns, of the liner Colombia, 1931.
Chairs in folded and lacquered sheet, trimmed with wool cloth and edited by Labormétal, 1928.
Professor at the School of Applied Arts and Decorative Arts, René Prou opens in 1938 his shop at 50 Faubourg Saint-Honoré and receives his friends and customers upstairs "tea towel on the shoulder". He organizes costume parties, fishing trout with another great, Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann. The sober sophistication of this bon vivant, its aesthetic requirement will have brilliantly foreshadowed modernism.
RENÉ PROU - Patrick and Lorraine Frey make us rediscover the immense decorator.