Exhibition International 1937
Group of furniture of the Society of Artists and Interior Designers Pavilion
This group of furniture was exhibited on the first floor of the Society of Artists and Interior Designers Pavilion at the 1937 Exhibition. Whilst other designers in the pavilion chose new themes such as communal or sporting life, Arbus designed “A House in Ile de France” with a music room, bedroom and dining room. The traditional, refined furniture which is inspired by the Louis XVI style (a day bed and curule chair) is very representative of a tendency to uphold the traditional, targeting a wealthy clientele. Several groups of furnishings occupy the theatrically-styled galleries: in the music room, the lightweight table with its top covered in rare, precious material and sculptural bronze pedestal matches the harmonious white tones of the satin and ivory lacquered paintwork of the seats.
Preoccupied by proportion – “I think that a piece of furniture is beautiful when it has been designed on a human scale” he claimed – as well as by ornamental refinement, manual dexterity and applied cabinetmaking skills, Arbuse was diametrically opposed to the functionalist theories being developed during the same period by the Union of Modern Artists.