Maison Gerard Celebrates 40

Julia Hartshorn
Jun 13, 2014 9:23PM

Maison Gerard is pleased to announce a celebration of our 40th anniversary on June 18th, 2014.

Established in 1974 by Gerardus Widdershoven, Maison Gerard had the unique distinction at that time of being one of only two galleries exclusively dedicated to French Art déco furniture, lighting, and objets.  Widdershoven played a pivotal role in introducing this period of design to his New York audience and shaping early interest in the market, featuring pieces by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Jean Dunand, André Groult, Dominique, and Edgar Brandt, among other significant names.  The gallery also developed a particular focus on the work of Maison Leleu, the famed French design house to which we have dedicated three exhibitions.

Widdershoven recalls that in the early days, “There were only a handful of serious collectors of Art déco: Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent, Ileana Sonnabend, Karl Lagerfeld, and Walter Chrysler, to name a few.  Chrysler acquired several pieces from us which are now in the collection of the Chrysler Museum.  Because it was an emerging trend, no new literature existed on the style yet so I would spend my free moments browsing local bookstores for period magazines and other publications on Art déco. “

In 1999, Widdershoven was joined by current business partner Benoist F. Drut, who in addition to being an expert in the French Art déco field, expanded the business to include work by contemporary designers beginning with noted French designer Hervé van der Straeten in 2004. 

“We began introducing contemporary pieces that felt harmonious with the Art déco we were known for at the time, which provided a nice complement to our 20th century inventory.  People, myself included, don’t live in homes decorated in only one period anymore, so it just made sense as a natural continuation,” says Drut.

Since then, our contemporary roster has increased to encompass international artists and designers working in myriad styles and techniques, from Italian architect Achille Salvagni to Israeli artist Ayala Serfaty, as well as recent collaborations with architects David Mann and William T. Georgis.  The range of 20th Century design too has grown from the Art déco period into later decades, such as the 1950's leather wrapped furniture of Jacques Adnet.

Widdershoven, Drut, and our entire gallery team are delighted to have arrived at this anniversary milestone and look forward to the future of Maison Gerard with the desire to continue presenting design that we are passionate about.

Explore the entire 40th Anniversary of Maison Gerard show.

Julia Hartshorn