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French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active also active in Italy.

Born 31 October 1957, in Bordeaux.

Architect, designer, draughtswoman. Furniture, rug design.

Martine Bedin was awarded a bursary to study architecture in Florence in 1978, and then graduated from the École d'Architecture in Paris. She began her formal research in ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1957, in Lille.

Painter. Figure compositions. Designs for carpets, furniture, ceramics and objets d'art.

Marie Ducaté lives and works in Marseilles. Her paintings present male nudes, alone or with others, in interiors or paradisal landscapes. These works disconcert by placing men in poses that in classical iconography are normally associated with the female. They recline languidly within kitsch interiors, with every detail of furnishing meticulously delineated. The effect is consciously heightened by the fact that the scene may comprise elements borrowed from the history of art, such as a Cubist floor or some drapery in the style of the Renaissance. Since ...

Article

Hermès  

M. B. Whitaker

French luxury goods and fashion house. Thierry Hermès (1801–78), a fine craftsman and artisan, opened a harness and saddle-making shop in Paris in 1837. It evolved into the House of Hermès, a world-renowned supplier of luxury leather goods, fashion apparel and accessories, fragrance, jewellery and gifts (see fig.).

Thierry Hermès’ dedication to quality, fine workmanship, and superior materials gained him a reputation as the most superb maker of harnesses in Paris. In 1879 the success of Thierry’s shop enabled his son, Emile-Charles (1835–1919), to expand the business and relocate to its present headquarters at 24, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The house supplied riding equipment to the best stables throughout Europe, including those belonging to royalty, such as the Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, and Tsar Nicholas II.

Adolphe and Emile-Maurice (1871–1951), grandsons of Thierry, vigorously spearheaded the diversification of Hermès products when the introduction of motor vehicles began to threaten business. Hermès expanded their offering to include luggage, handbags and sporting equipment. Until then no fancy leatherwork had been done by saddle-makers and the Hermès saddle stitch style was an instant success. Furthermore, the fittings of their leather accessories inspired the vogue for harness motifs and hardware in sportswear....

Article

South African, 20th century, male.

Born 1943, in Hlabisa area, Natal (KwaZulu-Natal); died 2007.

Basketweaver.

Reuben Ndwandwe lived in the Hlabisa area of KwaZulu-Natal. He was taught to weave at the Mahashini Primary School under the apartheid regime, when such crafts were compulsory for black students. In pre-industrial South Africa, most basket weaving was done by men. By the early 20th century, due to the migrant labour system and the availability of plastic and metal containers, this activity had all but died out. In the 1950s, missionary organisations supported a revival of the craft in KwaZulu-Natal as a means to economic upliftment, especially for women. Ndwandwe was encouraged to pursue basket weaving during a long convalescence in hospital. He was one of the few men pursuing the craft in the second half of the 20th century and was renowned for his immaculately woven lidded baskets with intricate over-weaving and subtle colours....