An icon of luxurious French Modernism, was both an architect and a designer. Adnet was born in 1900 and grew up with the 20th Century - as the beauty of the world was being captured through photography and film, undreamed of speeds were attained by rail and airplane, and machinery became precisioned. And artists in all disciplines searched for ways to ennoble that which they touched and turned into works of art.
Adnet attended the Municipal School of Design in Auxerre and the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs to study architecture under Charles Genuys. In Paris, he worked for the prestigious designers Henri Rapin and Maurice Dufrene. He exhibited at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Adnet was distinctly avant garde and was among the first of the French modernist designers to expect metal and glass to integrate with the structure and decoration of furniture. in 1926 he designed the salle commune of the Ile-de-France. By 1928, had become Director of La Compagnie des Arts Français - at the age of 28!
The chic address of CAF at 116 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré in Paris, where he stayed until 1959, provided Adnet with an ideal platform from which to promote his modernist designs. These incorporated precious woods, chromed metals, embellishments such as mirror, leather, parchment and smoked glass in linear styles with decoration pared away wherever possible. A 1930 quote summarized the effort: “What a lot of work to achieve simplicity!”
In 1970 Adnet became director of Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. He died in 1984 having created a legacy of fine design that feels “modern” even today.