Whilst preordained to manage his family’s painting and decoration business after his studies at the ‘Ecole des Beaux-Arts’ of Roubaix, World War I affected the future of Louis MIDAVAINE (1888-1978); as was the case of most of his contemporaries. Severely injured at the beginning of the war, he was taken prisoner by the German army. Midavaine would later develop his passion and skill of lacquering from his nurse, who coincidentally was proficient in millwork finishings.

Repatriated to France as an injured veteran, Midavaine was deeply frustrated with his medical prognosis and during his recovery, he adorned objects in lacquer in which he would sell and donate the proceeds to the Red Cross Charity.
Midavaine would then encounter the Duchess of la Rochefoucauld, director of the institution that aided his recovery in 1919; their relationship would lead him to create his own lacquering studio in the ‘rue des Acacias’ in Paris, where he only employed wounded veterans.
Working with the lacquers of sumac as well with new synthetic varnishes, Midavaine created lacquered furniture for wealthy clients, always remaining loyal to the trends of the twenties.

Midavaine also participated in several Parisian salons, in 1932 he exhibited both at the ‘Designer-Artists Salon’ and the ‘Salon des indépendants’, presenting a privacy-screen featuring “White Bears”, a favourite theme of his in which he will use repeatedly.

Coinciding with the greatest designers of the era, in 1935, Midavaine took part in the decorations of the historic liner “Normandie” and later in 1937 at the International Exhibition of Arts and Science.
After World War II, Midavaine’s studio was still in activity thanks to numerous commissions for private and governmental residences. It’s at that time that he created his magnificent furnitures and privacy-screens of lacquer adorned with exotic fishes.
Taken over by his son Jacques in 1964 and his granddaughter Anne in 1995, Louis MIDAVAINE’s talent can still be appreciated today at the ‘Midavaine studio’ at the ‘rue des Acacias’.


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