Le Mobilier national (French National Furniture Institution) has been supporting arts and crafts since the 17th century. Its twofold mission is to conserve and restore its unique collections and to perpetuate and pass down exceptional skills. This institution is not only an important heritage site, but also a major player in contemporary creation and the promotion of French decorative arts.
Le Mobilier national creates and restores tens of thousands of pieces of furniture and objects used to furnish and decorate public buildings in France and abroad. Formerly the Crown’s furniture storehouse, the institution has spent almost four centuries continually enriching its collections of pieces that represent their era. With an eye to the future, Le Mobilier national’s research and creation workshop (ARC) promotes contemporary design and creation in France. The best-known designers from the last sixty years have created iconic pieces in partnership with this workshop.
In 2020, Le Mobilier national mobilized to support the ecosystem of the art and design trades by launching an unprecedented call for submissions to acquire exceptional pieces from designers and galleries. Some of these selected works are already displayed in iconic official locations such as the Élysée Palace.
In the 2021 acquisition campaign, 53 items (seats, light fixtures, desks, etc.) created by 31 designers were added to Le Mobilier national’s collections. The wealth of offerings and the diversity and originality of the pieces selected bear witness to the vitality of the creative arts in France. These items will constitute the heritage of tomorrow. The works acquired are also representative of contemporary design issues, both through the materials employed and the techniques used. The fabulous venues where these pieces will be displayed to their best advantage are also a major opportunity for designers and galleries to showcase their work.
Le Mobilier national will continue to support emerging designers and talents in 2023, with a new acquisition campaign. The rules will be the same as for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 acquisition campaigns: pieces submitted for evaluation by the panel consisting of professionals from the design sector must be original works, limited to eight copies, and already made. They must be produced by, or under the supervision of, the designer. This means that every piece, in its execution, reflects the personality of its creator, which distinguishes it from a mere reproduction.
Credit pictures: LACEN, DA Spela Lenarcic / IIIRD MAN, Stéphane Ruchaud, Ludovic Maisant, Studio Figures, Lukas Cober, Nicolas Gaillard, Christel Sasso and Mathieu Gauchet