Athena Design brings you the largest Virtual Museum of contemporary and vintage design lighting, covering domestic and architectural lighting between 1945 and today.

Make your choice from a long list of lighting manufacturers eg: Artemide, Arteluce, Gispen, Lamperti, Arredoluce, Fontana Arte, Oluce, FDV, AV Mazzega, Metalarte, De Majo, Flos, Stilnovo, Foscarini, Ingo Maurer, Vistosi, Kartell, Venini, Martinelli, iGuzzini, Tronconi or Veart

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Manufacturer: Mobilier National
Start year: 1663
End year: 0
France’s enduring reputation for extraordinary decorative arts did not arise entirely by chance. Since the 17th century, the French government has played an active role in the creation, maintenance, and distribution of nationally produced furnishings and objets d’art, which were (and are) officially viewed as vehicles of the country’s cultural identity. Of course, these efforts focused first on artisanal work – tapestries, cabinetry, porcelain, etc. – but eventually this national obsession with quality expanded to encompass industrial design. In 1663, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Minister of Finance under Louis XIV, established the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne as a quality-control agency responsible for regulating state inventories, conserving and caring for royal furnishings, and preserving traditional techniques and workshops. This mission has been defended though the centuries under various agency names, surviving today in the Mobilier National. In the years following World War II, France began to reexamine its traditional approach to furniture making, recognizing much later than other European countries the need to modernize and adapt to mass manufacturing. While handcrafting remained prized, there was a growing demand for furnishings in the modern style. Moreover, the French government needed to develop foreign markets, and believed industrial design to be a potentially profitable export commodity. Designers involved: Pierre Paulin.



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