(1888 – 1985)
Michel Dufet was a renaissance man: architect, designer, painter, and writer. He was born in Deville-les-Rouen, France, and trained in Paris.
His long and distinguished career ranged from modern furniture and design to significant architectural projects.
Dufet began espousing the principles of modernism as early as 1913 when he opened a decorating studio, Mobilier Artistique Moderne (MAM) on Avenue de l’Opera in Paris to produce furniture, wallpaper (including the first Cubist wallpapers), fabrics and lighting. Just one year later, he made his debut at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1914 and exhibited again after the World War I armistice. His partner by then was Louis Bureau, a painter, and their partnership produced several opulent and well-received ensembles.
In the following ten years Dufet staged a theatrical review, paired with Louis Bureau, at MAM; sold MAM but continued to design for its new owner, P-A Dumas, served as head of the interior design firm Red Star in Rio de Janeiro, and designed interiors ranging from stores to cinemas to offices. In 1924 he began a 15-year collaboration with LeSylve design studio of Le Bucheron department store.
His commissions included work for the 1927 oceanliner Ile-de-France, 40 first-class cabins for the famed 1935 oceanliner, Normandie, theaters, shops and offices and a yacht for Marcel L’Herbier as well as commissions for the Foch and Ile-de-France.
In 1937 Dufet participated in the Exposition International des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris, a major world’s fair which would influence contemporary design for several decades
In 1939 he was commissioned to design the French pavilion at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Dufet was the son-in-law of the sculptor, Bourdelle, and he participated in the design of the Musee Antoine Bourdelle in Paris, and planned the layout. He was also editor-in-chief of Décor d’aujourd’hui.