Jean Prouvé Collection

A chair by Jean Prouvé marked the beginning of furniture manufacturer Vitra’s relationship with the work of French designer Jean Prouvé. Even after more than twenty years, the collaboration with his heirs still remains active and strong: Vitra is now revising the collection with new colours and introducing a number of lesser known designs.
Without formal training in architecture, Jean Prouvé relied on collaborations with his younger brother, the French architect Henri Prouvé and many modern architects of his time for the execution of his building ideas, such as Eugène Beaudoin and Marcel Lods for La maison du peuple in Clichy-sur-Seine or Pierre Jeanneret for a model of a demountable pavilion. Prouvé is known for constructions made of standardised, prefabricated elements that provided a solution for low-cost housing – in urgent demand after the Second World War. In later years, Prouvé worked in Paris as a consulting engineer on numerous major building projects and made architectural history once again in 1971 when he chaired the jury in the competition for the construction of Centre George Pompidou. His life’s work has earned him a significant place in the history of architecture.

New colours of the Jean Prouvé Collection

The colours Prouvé developed for his furniture drew on various references – from his Blé Vert, which describes the colour of young green wheat, to Gris Vermeer, which alludes to the grey tones in the work of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Yet according to Prouvé, who believed in the ‘nature of a material’, only parts in danger of corroding should be painted, which is why he left wooden and aluminium elements in an untreated state whenever possible. However, beyond the practical benefit of rust protection, Prouvé was aware that he could use colours to instil his furniture designs with a certain aura.

Vitra is expanding the palette for Jean Prouvé’s furniture to include some of the original Prouvé colours: the existing options of deep black, Japanese red and Blanc Colombe will be joined by Gris Vermeer, Bleu Dynastie, Blé Vert and Bleu Marcoule.
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Read more in our Jean Prouvé brochure

The Jean Prouvé Collection at the Vitra Design Museum

The Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, is home to the world’s most extensive Jean Prouvé museum collection. It dates back to the 1980s when Rolf Fehlbaum (Chairman Emeritus at Vitra) acquired the first Jean Prouvé design, an Antony chair that he found in Paris, sparking Fehlbaum’s interest in the work of Jean Prouvé.
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