Pierre Paulin, ‘Élysée Bookcase’, 1971, Demisch Danant

Officially, one example of this bookcase was produced for President George Pompidou's apartments at the Palais de l'Élysée in 1971 as part of that landmark commission. That example is now in the permanent collection of the Mobilier national.

This bookcase, a smaller version of the example installed at the Palais d'Élysee, was recently discovered and is believed to be the only other example of the Élysee bookcase. The steel connection parts were fabricated by the Mobilier national workshop (A.R.C.) and the Altuglas elements were fabricated by an independent workshop.

Signature: Signed 'Paul'

Descendre, Nadine. Pierre Paulin: L'Homme et l'Oeuvre. Paris: Èditions Albin Michel. Presidential version illustrated, 109. Print.

Chapoutot, Anne. Pierre Paulin: Un Universe de Formes. Paris: Editions Du May, 1992. Presidential version illustrated, 94. Print.

About Pierre Paulin

Mushrooms, oysters, tongues, and tulips are some of the iconic shapes French designer Pierre Paulin was best known for creating. Having trained under Parisian designer Marcel Gascion, Paulin was influenced by the Scandinavian aesthetic as well as American pre-fabricated designs by Charles and Ray Eames and Florence Knoll. Inspired to develop his own brand of accessible luxury, Paulin began designing and manufacturing seats made of molded wood lined with foam padding and fashioned with a stretch elastic jersey fabric for Thonet-France. Paulin’s forward-looking, innovative designs for affordable chairs, divans, and sofas in an array of bright and vivid colors, most notably Mushroom, Tongue flesh and Ribbon chair, among others, can be found in contemporary art and design collections around the world, from the Museum of Modern Art, New York to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the National Centre for Art and Culture Georges Pompidou in Paris.

French, 1927-2009