Jean Fressinet was born in Saint-Etienne on June 29, 1889. After winning a scholarship to the National School of Fine Arts in Lyon, he founded a design studio in Paris in 1920 after seven years of military service and wartime. From 1923 onwards, he specialized in architecture and decoration.

In 1932, he was appointed Director of the School of Applied Arts for Industry, a position he held until 1953. Fressinet has been a regular participant in the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs since 1925 and has exhibited at major exhibitions in France and abroad, including the Decorative Arts Exhibition in 1925 (classified as hors concours with state commissions), the Colonial Exhibition in 1931 (Grand Prix), and the 1937 Exhibition as an architect of class 43, presenting various furniture ensembles (hors concours, and vice-president of the jury). He has won awards and medals at exhibitions in Brussels, Saint-Louis, Liège, Milan, and Barcelona.

Since 1936, he has organized the architecture of the "Foyer d'Aujourd'hui" at the Salon des Arts Ménagers and was responsible for the design of class 35 at the Exhibition of Urbanism and Housing in 1947. Fressinet has designed (architecture and furniture) residences, private mansions, apartments, luxury stores, theater halls, boardrooms, and the Christ-Roi Chapel in Nogent, both in France and abroad.

The State and the Mobilier National have acquired furniture and carpets from Fressinet, who also received commissions for war memorials from World War I in Saint-Rambert and the French Souvenir for Aviator Pégoud. Jean Fressinet is a Knight of the Legion of Honor since 1936 and a member of the committees of the S.A.D., U.A.D.C.E., and the Society of Encouragement for Art and Industry.

From his early days in Lyon, Fressinet had the privilege of knowing one of the pioneers of modern architecture, Auguste Perret, along with Tony Garnier, with whom he collaborated at the 1925 Exhibition for the Pavilions of Lyon and Saint-Etienne. It was at this exhibition that Fressinet asserted his identity as an architect and decorator through his significant participation in eight classes. From that point on, and as he continued to do, he not only designed and drew all the furniture, but also the models for stained glass, carpets, fabrics, wallpapers, etc.

Moreover, together with René Gabriel, he was one of the first to study and undertake the serial production of furniture ensembles with a new spirit that aligned with changing tastes and economic needs that machine progress could offer satisfactory solutions to. This audacious conception is now universally adopted.

However, Fressinet always emphasized, in his lectures to industrialists and in his teaching, the necessary alliance of aesthetics, technique, and logic, ensuring that functional and meticulously executed furniture and objects retained their harmony and beauty.

Fressinet collaborated with various specialized journals and publications, avoiding being seen as a mere theorist, as he always gave form and reality to his principles. Before 1930, he collaborated with architect Paul Noulin in the construction of a model city in the East, at Mancieulles, featuring a theater, community center, cultural center, sports grounds, and individual or grouped housing for engineers and workers, all in a modern and rational spirit.

During the same period, he designed luxury installations, still within a modern and rational approach, such as the Residence of His Majesty the Emperor of Annam, the Palace of H.E. Sarag-el-Dine Pasha in Cairo, the château of Count de Bouhée in Saint-Cloud, and the private mansion of Dr. A. Charpentier in Paris.


Sources : Mobilier et Decoration N° 3 Avril 1956