~JEAN PROUVE/CHRISTIE’S/ANDRE BALAZS
. . . . the most astute blue chip buy of the season:
NOTE: the actual Maison Tropicale bought at CHRISTIE’S was a slightly different house,
but follows along these guidelines.
JEAN PROUVE, ‘A TROPICAL HOUSE’, exhibited in the HAMMER MUSEUM courtyard,
PHOTO: COURTESY HAMMER MUSEUM
archival notes from the HAMMER MUSEUM (OCT 4, 2005):
. . . “A prefabricated metal house constructed by French designer JEAN PROUVE, known as the Tropical House, will be installed in the Hammer Museum courtyard
during October and November 2005. Installation of Jean Prouve: A Tropical House will begin October 4, and deinstallation will begin in January 2006.
The installation and deinstallation periods will last for approximately two weeks and are integral aspects of the display, allowing the public to observe, first-hand, Prouve’s notions of prefabricated architecture in practice.
Prouve designed the Tropical house in 1949 as a prototype for inexpensive, readily
assembled housing that could be easily transported to France’s African colonies. Fabricated in Prouve’s French workshops, the components for the house were completed in 1951 and were flown disassembled to Africa in the cargo hold of an airplane. The house was erected in the town of Brazzaville, Congo, where it remained for nearly 50 years. In 1999 the Tropical House was disassembled and shipped back to France for restoration…”
an excellent essay by ROBERT RUBIN, About Jean Prouve’s Tropical House, as well as a striking series of installation photographs can be found on the HAMMER MUSEUM website: www.hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/95/index.htm
THE NEW YORK TIMES, JUNE 6, 2007 – Metro Briefing, Page B8
MANHATTAN: HOTIELIER BUYS 1951 HOUSE
“The hotelier ANDRE BALAZS bought Maison Tropicale, a small 1951 aluminum-paneled house by the French designer JEAN PROUVE, for $4.97 million yesterday, Christie’s auction house said. Christie’s had estimated that the house would go for $4 million to $6 million. (The final price ncluded Christie’s commission: 20 percent of the first $500,000 and 12 percent of the rest.) The house had been on view since mid May in Long Island City. Prouve designed it as a prototype for prefabricated homes for French colonial officials stationed in Africa.
The seller, Eric Touchaleaume, a French antiques dealer, as said he plans to use the proceeds to finance a Prouve museum that will travel in another Maison Tropicale.”
CHRISTIE’S, NEW YORK – AUCTION DATE: JUNE 5, 2007
illustration not available
JEAN PROUVE (1901-1984)
THE PROTOTYPE LARGE MAISON TROPICALE FOR BRAZZAVILLE, 1950-51
SOLD FOR: $4,968,000
note: the property offered for sale as LOT 0311 consists solely of the prototype Maison Tropicale created by Jean Prouve. Photographic illustrations (not available on-line) may include the base, which includes the iroko decking and the tall pillars from which the prototype is raised on short, adjustable, telescopic pillars was not designed by Jean Prouve. The iroko base and the tall pillars, designed and manufactured by the present owner to provide an optional platform for the prototype Maison Tropicale, are not being offered for sale in this auction but will be made available for purchase by the successful bidder via a private sale.
note: the base was bought privately.
from the artlovers archives:
CATHRINE PROUVE, JEAN PROUVE’S DAUGHTER .. and
SERGE PROUVE, JEAN PROUVE’S GRANDSON, (said to resemble his grandfather),
sitting at one of his grandpa’s original work desks …
a folding chair by JEAN PROUVE,
at the opening of: ‘Furniture and Architecture by JEAN PROUVE’,
curated by PATRICK SEQUIN,
SONNABEND GALLERY, FEB 22, 2003
Photos: Nancy Smith
these photos first posted in artnet, MARCH 17, 2003