Musée d'Orsay: Decorative artist and art lover. Drawings for interior decorative works

Decorative artist and art lover. Drawings for interior decorative works


Marcel Kammerer (1878-1969)
 Grand hôtel Wiesler à Graz (Autriche), salle des fêtes [Wiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria, Banquet Hall]
 Pencil, pen and ink, water colour and gouache on tracing paper
 Paris, Musée d'Orsay
Marcel KammererWiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria, Banquet Hall© DR - RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
The 20th century has elevated the interior designer, a personality who orchestrates the interior design and renovation of exclusive residences, to almost iconic status. Although very much a feature of life nowadays, this activity began in the 19th century, with enthusiastic, independent and original ideas from people like Eugène Lami, Antoine Zoegger and Jules Allard. At that time, the decorative artist competed with the architect who still however remained in control of the interior decoration.

After creative designers like Percier and Fontaine, whose collaboration produced the neo-classical Empire style, interior decoration became an issue of great importance. The layout of the rooms, choice of colours, position of furniture and display of objets d’art were the finishing touches in the search for social recognition and confirmation of good taste in the eyes of the European elite.

At the end of the 19th century, the avant-garde movements emphasised the fundamental role of interior decoration, as a basis for renewing the environment. From Félix Duban to Henry Van de Velde, Antoine Zoegger to George Niedecken, drawings for interior decorations, far from being incidental, made a strong contribution to the history of taste.


Olivier Gabet, curator of the heritage department. Musée d'Orsay.

12 February - 4 May 2008
Musée d'Orsay

Graphic Arts Gallery

Opening hours
Admission with the museum ticket

Enlarge font size Reduce font size Tip a friend Print