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Pierre Paulin - An icon celebrates his 80th birthday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   

Pierre Paulin Some designers are destined to reach the very stars in the sky; Pierre Paulin is one such designer. On December 3, 2007, New Yorkers gathered at the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France headquarters to pay tribute to Pierre Paulin and celebrate his 80th birthday, and of course, Luxury Experience Magazine was there.

Pierre Paulin - 80th Birthday PartyThe 1960s was a time of great creativity in the art world, there was the Beetles, Andy Warhol, the mini-skirt, and of course, the furniture designer, Pierre Paulin. Born in Paris in 1927, his dream was to become a sculptor, however when an accident severed a nerve in his hand, he was forced to rethink his dream. Instead of sculpting in stone, he sculpted his ideas as a designer of furniture, and went on to create important iconic designs including the Mushroom stool, and chairs with the imaginative names of Le Chat, Tongue, Ribbon, Tulip, Little Tulip, Oyster, Globe, Little Globe, Groovy, Ben, and the Orange Slice Chair, which helped to shape contemporary furniture design. Together with the bold prints of textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen's innovative stretch upholstery fabric, Pierre Paulin's furniture is as fresh and contemporary today as it was in the 1960s.

Orange Slice Chair - Pierre Paulin     Tongue Chair - Pierre Paulin
Orange Slice Chair
                   Tongue Chair  

After a welcome by Barry Bergdoll, The Philip C. Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture & Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Kareen Ripsal, Cultural Counselor, Embassy of France in the United States, and Michael Manes, President of M2L the distributor of Mr. Paulin's designs, Mr. Paulin went to the podium and thanked the American public for their continued support. Asked how he felt about his birthday, he simply stated, "Mickey Mouse and I were born in the same year."

Karen Ripsal, Pierre Paulin, Barry Bergdoll    Pierre Paulin, Michael Manes
Karen Ripsal, Pierre, Barry Bergdoll       Pierre, Michael Manes          

He blew out the candles of his cake appropriately topped with one of his chair designs, and later posed for photographs with guests. A handsome man with a lion's mane of silver hair, Mr. Paulin remains humble despite his tremendous success in the world of design. Speaking with him while the guests admired the photography exhibit of his 1968 redesign of the Elysée Palace interiors, mingled and nibbled on tempting canapés, sweets, and sipped Champagne Pommery, he told me that while he grew up in Paris, he now lives in the South of France, in the forest. Although he lives his life outside of the limelight, his designs clearly continue to shine and attract great attention in center stage.

Ribbon Chair - Pierre Paulin     Mushroom Stool - Pierre Paulin
Ribbon Chair                              Mushroom Stool 

The exhibit Happy Birthday Pierre Paulin, presented with the support of M2L, Florence Gould Foundation, Air France, and Pommery, runs until January 25, 2008, and features 12 pieces from his collection arranged on the reception floor of the Cultural Services Embassy of France, as well as the photography exhibit on the second floor. Mr. Paulin's designs are beautifully showcased in a building designed by important American architect Stanford White, which features a statue by Michelangelo, and white marble walls acting as a foil for Mr. Paulin's colorful designs.

Debra C. Argen and Pierre PaulinLuxury Experience Magazine would like to congratulate Mr. Pierre Paulin on his 80th birthday!

For information on the Happy Birthday Pierre Paulin exhibit, please contact the Cultural Services Embassy of France at The hours are Weekdays from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (Closed Saturday - Sunday). There is no admission charge.

Cultural Services Embassy of France
972 Fifth Avenue (at 79th Street)
New York, NY  

© January 2008. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.

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