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City of Paris - Expo Paris 1925

City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Exhibition organised under the direction of Messrs A. Deville, Doumerc, Franceschini, Lefebvre. R. Bouvard, A. Vincent, Six, Labreuille, architects. General contracting by the Charpentiers de Paris; marble by Dervillé & Cie; bas-reliefs by Bouraine & Le Faguays; ironwork by Baguès Frères.
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
Drawing room of Paul Simons and his pupils in the project "A day of celebration at the primary school".
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
The kitchen
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille
City of Paris at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1925
The puppet of the little ones
Architect(s) : Roger Bouvard, André Vincent, Six et Labreuille

Article from the magazine "La construction moderne", 21 June 1925

Under the trees of the Cours-la-Reine, a little before reaching the Petit-Palais from the Place de la Concorde, there is a delightful spot, a place of rest that would almost be a place of meditation if the crowd were not always so great. Roger Bouvard, surrounded by flower gardens designed by M. Forestier, General Inspector of the Art of Gardening at the Exhibition and M. Vacherot, Chief Gardener of the City of Paris. It may be said that although accustomed to the beauties of the gardens of the Capital, one is nevertheless astonished and delighted by such beautiful flowers which have never been lavished with such profusion and with such admirably ordered methods.

We cannot but recall the memory of the old "Pavillon de la Ville de Paris" built at the 1878 Exhibition by the Master Joseph Antoine Bouvard, built at that time in a completely new style, which made Jourdain write that this architect had found a new architecture and had known how to associate ceramics with the metal framework in a happy manner. The Master had created, in fact, this architecture of the Exhibitions which would later make it possible to make grandiose constructions with frameworks and, in 1889, he built the Central Dome, at the Champ-de-Mars, of such a decorative whole and of truly colossal proportions; his undisputed talent was later to make him head the Architectural Services of the parks and festivals of the Universal Exhibition of 1900. How dear it must be to his son, Mr. Roger Bouvard, to see today a pavilion standing, by a curious chance, almost in the same place as the one built by his father on the Cours la Reine forty-seven years ago.

Mr Roger Bouvard was indeed led by chance to build the elegant City pavilion on this site. On May 3, 1923, the Commission des Expositions de la Capitale had decided that the site was in principle in the triangle between the banks of the Seine, the Place de la Concorde and Avenue Duthuit. From the examination made later both by President Dervillé and by the Exhibition Service, it resulted that only the lawn between Avenue Duthuit and Cours-la-Reine could be used in the indicated part because there were no trees to move. By looking for certain arrangements appropriate to the plan of this lawn, the surface necessary for the City Exhibition could be found.

The programme imposed on the architect was: 1° to find a definitive building to be erected for the Exhibition and then to serve as an annex to the Petit-Palais; 2° to study a project for a provisional pavilion intended solely to house the City's services for the 1925 Exhibition.

At the beginning of November 1923, after numerous discussions with the competent departments, the two projects were presented and met the conditions imposed. In order to preserve the perspectives of the Champs-Elysées, the architect thought that the Palace should be composed of two galleries forming wings and joined by a central atrium with an architectural motif and gardens allowing the view from the Cours-la-Reine to the Champs-Elysées. After examination, the Aesthetic Commission issued a favourable opinion on the architectural design but was clearly unfavourable to the hypothesis of a definitive pavilion on the projected site.

The City of Paris Exhibition Commission and the City Council then decided on the principle of a provisional pavilion.

The architect was asked to carry out new studies to present two solutions: the first, like the previous projects, with a hole in the middle, and the other with a central decorated motif with an entrance hall and the City Council's Salon d'Honneur for official receptions. The projects were drawn up and preference was given to the second project, i.e. with a central decorative motif linking the two wings.

The building in this design covered 1,200 square metres instead of the 1,000 metres in the design with an atrium, thus allowing for a more advantageous layout for the exhibits.

While he was studying the Pavilion, Mr. Roger Bouvard submitted to the Exhibition Commission an idea he had already presented, which consisted in asking the professional schools of the City of Paris not only to exhibit objects hung on the wall, but to put together sets of decoration and interior fittings. This idea having particularly caught the attention of the Commission, it was decided that the schools would be called upon and that the effort would be limited to their participation.

Before describing the building, we would like to explain the conditions under which it was built, because we reserve the right to go back over its temporary existence.

This pavilion, so elegant and delicately beautiful, stands in the centre of a vast elongated rectangle, in the middle of large shady gardens with fountains, statues and pergolas. Its importance is such that it is impossible to give a photographic reproduction of the whole which almost disappears under the foliage, we ask our readers to refer to our article published in the May 3rd issue of the Construction Moderne which gives a perspective of part of this great construction.

The central part is preceded by a three-step staircase on which two large plinths stand out very slightly, emerging a few centimetres above the threshold of this central staircase. The main doorway is set between wide, high pilasters with bases, the projection of which is softened by a sloping upper part that prevents rainwater from being deposited. The door is framed by a series of five inwardly-recessed bands and has its upper corners panelled to give it a half-hexagonal opening. The whole of the door and the five surrounding bands are framed by an attractive decorative motif of large carved flowers. A large, fairly wide band crowns this motif and separates the door and the surrounding carved motif from a large rectangular marble panel that is slightly recessed. This large marble panel of a lovely café au lait shade with rose veins has, in its central part and placed slightly recessed, a lovely square motif in gilded bronze representing the Arms of the City of Paris of a very beautiful modern composition with branches of laurel and oak with leaves covering almost the entire background. The marble panel also bears, below this motif, the inscription "Ville de Paris" in very slightly hollow stick letters of a very simple design. This entire central part of the pavilion is surrounded and crowned by simple flat bands with sharp edges forming a cornice supporting a wide entablature. This entablature is finally surmounted by a sort of attic, the long, low middle of which forms a jardinière lined with boxwood (buxus simper virens); on each side of this attic, the corner cubes have on their facade a projecting stone jardinière with three lower bands forming a cul-de-lampe lined with pink hydrangeas.

The wrought iron gate of the large entrance door was made by Maison Bagués, and is of a very happy composition, simple and of a very pleasant dark greenish blue tone. On each side of this entrance, on the two large flat blocks limiting the steps of the porch, a base supports a large vase of new shape.

These two vases, due to the generosity of the Maison Gentil et Bourdet, are a credit to this important establishment. They were composed by Messrs Aubry and Bande and obtained by the technique of Messrs J. Gobled and H. Marcot. They are of a dark grey tone with turquoise blue streaks, i.e. of an extremely rich colour, of an elongated and very high shape with vertical and geometrical elements, these elements are with flattened edges filled with long pearls with triangular hollow parts filled with three rounded and fluted geometrical motifs forming three falls each ending with a large hanging pearl. Along the vases and on each side, a sort of flat plane with rounded lower parts forming a long handle topped by plant scales extends and rises. The whole is really beautiful and of an essentially new composition.

On each side of the central part there is a wing, the start of which is curious and the architect, Mr Roger Bouvard, had an extremely original idea in placing the facades of these wings at a very forward alignment to that of the central part in order to obtain a beautiful framing for the perron of the main entrance decorated with the two vases of Messrs Gentil and Bourdet. The central part is detached at the front by a fifty centimetre step from a right-angled lateral part, also fifty centimetres long, from which a 45° open section of the facade connects it to each wing. This part, which forms a frame for the porch, has a base similar to that of the central part and a wide marble frieze of the same colour and nature as the marble panel above the entrance door. The frieze is decorated in the middle with a square motif in flat gilded bronze decorated with geometric elements and flowers of modern composition. Finally, on each side, there is a very long wing framed at each end of its main façade by a large, wide panel rising to the cornice, which is decorated at the bottom with a large sculpted bas-relief. These four large decorative motifs with figures were composed and executed by Marcel Romaine and Pierre Le Faguays, they are in a very modern note and of a very pleasant effect. Each wing is pierced by three large bays with a half-hexagonal upper part and has a long marble frieze of the same nature and tone as that of the panel above the large entrance door, i.e. milk yellow marble with pink veins. The frieze is limited in its lower part by a wide band that follows the shape of the upper part of the bays and is enriched on the main façade of each wing by four square ornaments in gilded bronze similar to those of the return panels described above. Finally, each bay has its sides decorated with a four-groove upright forming five vertical bands topped by a sculpted square motif with modern floral decoration linking it to the lower band with the marble frieze. These three window bays have very beautiful wrought iron railings in dark greenish blue executed by the Baguès company.

The side façades of the "Pavillon de la Ville de Paris" have protruding sections in the middle, open on each of their three sides by a main door. These three doors have wrought iron gates made by the Bagués company. The whole of these side façades is naturally of the same composition as the other parts of the Pavilion, with the same frieze and the same base surmounted by a sloping part to avoid the deposit of rainwater.

The rear façade of the Pavilion is extremely simple, with no opening other than a small emergency door, as it runs along a public road and cannot be seen by visitors to the Exhibition.

The wings are surrounded and crowned by two simple flat bands with sharp edges forming a cornice, supporting a wide entablature similar to that of the central part. This entablature is surmounted by a single one with low parts forming jardinières and crowned with boxwood.

The elegant Pavilion of the City of Paris is worthy of our capital. The whole is undeniably charming. In putting together this great building, the architect Roger Bouvard has clearly demonstrated that it is possible to create "new architecture" without resorting to really bizarre ideas often inspired by what we have seen in Germany in Carlsrühe, Munich and even in Metz, where the Germans have done some truly appalling things. It is even curious to note that many modern architects, authors of really daring constructions, recognise the beauty of the Pavilion due to this architect.

We have noticed the characteristic of the architecture of Mr Roger Bouvard and it is important to point it out. There are no rounded parts in all the details of the façades of this Pavilion, all the lines and shapes are straight, the fillets, the bands are even often of decayed sections and yet everything is extremely delicate. There is therefore an essentially new architecture here. Moreover, we propose to publish works by this artist in the hope that his extreme kindness will overcome his great modesty.

To complete this beautiful construction, to enhance its brilliance, the garden department headed by Mr. Forestier has created a real flowery setting decorated with green plants. On each wing there are four laurel trees (laurus) cut into very slender pyramids and two others in the form of balls in line with the sculpted panels; along the base, therefore except in front of the bays and doors, a long border of spindle trees about 0.80 metres high serves as a background for a long flower bed made up of rows of blue hydrangeas and closer rows of purple cineraria. This long flower bed completely frames the pavilion and is bordered by a grassy slope.

Entering through the main door, naturally located in the centre of the pavilion, one enters the "Vestibule of Honour". It is generally creamy white in colour and has an extremely simple and distinguished composition. The Pilasters, which project slightly, have no capitals; their upper part is simply decorated with three small, slightly curved bands, almost close together; the architrave, which projects in the same direction as the pilasters, is about forty centimetres high and is surmounted by a very wide frieze. This frieze is very dark, almost black, and is almost completely covered by large barbed and gilded flecks, and is embellished by thirteen square motifs of old gold tone sculpted in the modern style. Above the frieze, two square fillets crown the whole of the vestibule and support a taut, sulphur yellow velum. Opposite the main entrance door is a large double door with glass panels and side panels with large, long, narrow glass panels and transoms; this door was designed and executed in polished wrought iron by the Dorian School, and is enriched by motifs placed in the centre of the glass panels and by spandrels designed and chiselled by the Boulle School, but melted on the outside. The motifs are a woman carrying a basket of fruit on each leaf and on the transom a woman lying next to a running deer, these figures are of modern composition, but inspired by the Orient. This large entrance door gives access to the City Council's Reception Room, and is flanked on each side by a large, low-lying bay window with mirrors. Each bay is bordered at the bottom and along its entire length by a planter of the same tone as the walls, decorated with small carved and gilded wooden motifs of modern composition, decorated with rosebushes, pink azaleas and various ferns. The Vestibule is furnished with two oak benches with straight backs and armrests composed and executed by Boulle.

On each side of the Vestibule a door with an old gold velvet door gives access to each of the wings of the Pavilion.

One then enters through the Great Door, opposite that of the Main Entrance, into the "City Council Reception Room", which is the most sumptuous room in the Pavilion by its purpose. The Salon is of a stony tone, the large side opposite that opened by the large entrance door and the bays is of a two-sided cut. The ten pilasters that frame the elements, openings or panels, are extremely simple, plain, without capitals, decorated soberly at the top by a very thin guilloche band, about seven centimetres high and gilded. The pilasters support a very wide band (about 80 centimetres) with a wide entablature with very low mutules, above this entablature is the bare wall and, at a height of about sixty centimetres, a very overhanging crown, supporting a pale yellow velum. The middle of each section is occupied by a fairly high and relatively narrow door of the same colour as the skirting board of the salon, i.e. cream; each door comprises a high, low projecting panel without any moulding, with a gilded edge, and is enriched by a carved and gilded wooden motif composed and executed by the Ecole Boulle, representing a woman carrying a basket of fruit similar to the one in gilded bronze decorating the arch of each of the leaves of the large door of the salon. Each door is framed by a gilded wood baguette with flutes, made by the same school. Two large round-headed mirrors, formed by small elements held in place by gilded bronze bolts, occupy the ends of the large side of the room. At the bottom, they carry a large carved and gilded wooden credenza forming a lamp-post, covered with a marble top similar to that of the other furniture. The walls and solid parts above the windows and doors are covered with brocaded silk hangings, the design of which was composed by the Ecole Boulle, in old mauve and grey tones with floral ornaments and ribbon bows in fairly dark grey and old gold colours. The ten pilasters support a gilded bronze light fixture with a large basin and five cascading waterfalls in Lalique glass. Two doors closed by velvet doors connect the reception room with each of the wings of the pavilion. The extremely rich furniture was executed by the students of the Ecole Boulle and is comparable to that produced by our best specialists. It is composed of a large bookcase in rosewood, with a central part enhanced by a large and rich round medallion in gilded bronze with the coat of arms of the City of Paris with attributes of architecture, music, painting and sculpture, a cabinet in amaranth, with grey maple veneer inside, a chest of drawers with amaranth legs, a large rosewood table with a very rich dark marble top, varnished like that of the tops of the credenzas and the chest of drawers, two large sofas, chairs and armchairs upholstered in grey brocaded silk with dark grey and violet ornaments made by the Ecole Boulle, which also made the statutes, trays, bowls and clocks that complete the decoration. The carpet itself was composed by the Ecole Boulle, but made by a factory in the Pyrenees.

Entering the right wing, we find a first room presenting the educational material of three professional boys' schools: Diderot, Dorian and Boulle, i.e. the technical teaching methods of mechanics, wrought iron, carpentry, cabinetmaking and art bronze from the sketch and the size plan to the final execution. In the middle of this room and on entering, you see the information and sales office. Furnished by the Ecole Boulle, it is the typical office of a tasteful advertising executive. The information and shorthand typing service is provided by young girls from the Ecole Municipale de Commerce. Two alleys lined by a line of shops lead to the end of the right wing, one occupied by Couture, Lingerie, Fashion, Textiles, the other by Books, Fabrics, the Marais with its so Parisian production. Finally, at the end of this wing, there is a sort of resting place decorated with green plants, furnished with chairs and armchairs, illuminated by the three doors opening onto the beautiful garden created by the architect Laprade.

If, on the other hand, you go from the entrance hall to the left wing of the Pavilion, you arrive in a sort of hall, a covered garden of a pleasant ensemble where we find the inspiration of Mr. Roger Bouvard. This hall has an octagonal plan with four large sides and four smaller ones. One of the large sides has two doors, one opening onto the Entrance Hall of the Pavilion, the other onto its Reception Hall, the other side facing it allows access through a large entrance to two intermediate columns in an original part of the City Exhibition. The third side, which is completely closed, is bordered by a long cement bench of very geometrical shape, with a backrest decorated in the middle with a red copper escutcheon adorned with a floral composition, and armrests each topped by a white plaster cat. These three objects were designed and executed for the Boys' School of Applied Arts. Above this bench, the wall is covered with earthenware tiles forming a large panel with extremely simple elements, each tile being decorated with two tones limited by the diagonal. The fourth large side facing it, on the other hand, is pierced by a large door with a very simple grille, decorated with frosted and slightly bluish granite glass. On either side of the door, on a high, slender plinth, one can see a white monkey executed by the School of Applied Arts for Boys and a sort of small mosaic basin serving as a pool for two small fountains that let out a thin stream of water from a geometrically shaped ornament of a square set in patinated copper. Opposite and to the sides of the bench mentioned above is another small mosaic basin serving as a planter.

The other four smaller sides of the hall, which form a cross-section, are pierced on the ground floor by a bay opening onto a small exhibition room placed at the corner of the hall, and on the first floor by the extension of this bay ending in a semicircular arch. This other bay on the first floor is closed by a hanging and decorated with a low wrought iron balcony grille, with three sides like the lintel above the one on the ground floor, forming a pleasing crown to the lounge bay. The long sides have a frieze decorated with frescoes representing four of the great periods in the history of dress. The lower part of the frieze is limited by a band which does not extend over the small cut sides. This beautiful hall is also crowned by a horizontally stretched velum. At the centre of the hall is a circular garden bordered by a fine gravel driveway. One descends to the level of the driveway via three-step stoops. The central part, also three steps high, has four steps with rounded steps framed by two pedestals each supporting a vase. The eight pedestals are all different from each other, but are more or less the same and of the same height. The vases are also different, they are made of hammered and decorated copper and were made by the School of Applied Arts. The four beds forming a frame interrupted by the staircases are made up of thin, cut boxwood borders bordering lines of red Triomphe de Boulogne begonias, with ferns. In the centre of the garden stands a pretty fountain with two circular and concentric basins, the outer basin is very low and formed by a simple band, the central basin is high with four curves, each with a shallow channel for the flow of water; The fountain itself has a very soberly ornamented round base with an octagonal upper part with four very simple gargoyles, and is surmounted by a forty centimetre high gilded statue representing a bather with hair cut in the Ninon style and with drapery. This fountain is surrounded by a fine gravel walkway on which wax figures signed by Imans present the afternoon dress, a creation and execution of the various professional girls' schools. In the four sections of the hall, four rooms can be admired, each preceded by a three-step staircase framed by two large ceramic pots decorated with blue hydrangeas. These are the antechamber, the boudoir, the studio and the small salon, carefully furnished by the Boulle, Applied Arts, Dorian and Diderot schools, and containing all the accessories needed to create the right atmosphere. They make it possible to present in a particularly lively way the toilet and the various preoccupations of the Parisian woman at the main hours of the day. All the schools, including the school of horticulture for the garden framing the terrace and the fountain, collaborated in this ensemble which, with the official salon, is the most important part of the Exposition de la Ville de Paris.

To conclude, we can only regret that the City Administration and the famous Commission did not think it necessary to provide the Capital with a lasting Pavilion, which would have been a souvenir of the 1925 Exhibition for the City and for many people. It is said, but is it an echo of an accurate rumour, that the Administration of the Petit-Palais wanted a lasting annex for its exhibitions, that it wanted it to be large, that Mr. Roger Bouvard had insufficient credit and could not do as much as it wanted, so the Administration of the Petit-Palais wanted nothing more than a temporary pavilion. We would like to think that this is not true, but if it is, it is deeply regrettable and... we are generally well informed!


Article published in "L'art vivant" in 1925

The beautiful pavilion that the City of Paris has built on the Cours-la-Reine, on the edge of the Champs-Élysées, is entirely devoted to art education as it is provided in its professional schools, in the courses it subsidizes and in its primary schools.

The main purpose of the exhibition is to present a selection of students' work to the public. This selection is, moreover, so perfectly in keeping with the programme of the Exhibition itself, and its results are so modern in tendency, that one cannot praise too highly the spirit of method and decision with which the City of Paris has associated itself with the movement which is leading our art industries towards the new aesthetics appropriate to our time.

And this event, which is in essence purely didactic, is ultimately one of the most perfect achievements of the Exhibition in terms of its overall structure and detail.

It is also one of the most flattering and promising of all, showing us the studious youth participating in the development of a new style.

It is easy to understand the care with which the City of Paris, proud of an education that contributes to the training of an elite workforce, craftsmen and artists of high reputation, wanted to present these results in a setting worthy of the costly efforts it has made to this end.

The pavilion, built to the plans of the architects Bouvard, Vincent, Six and Labreuille, stands among the tall trees of the Cours, preceded by an attractive garden designed by Laprade, a true horticultural wonder. The façade of the pavilion is soberly decorated with bas-reliefs by Bouraine and Lefaguays and is adorned with wrought iron railings and balconies by Bagués.

Inside, the right wing of the pavilion presents the stands designed by Mrs. Bourgeois and Mr. A. Bruneau and executed in collaboration with the students of the School of Applied Arts in rue Dupetit-Thouars, the École Boulle, the Ecoles Diderot, Dorian, Estienne, Élisa-Lemonnier and various other professional schools.
As the organisers tell us, these schools were able, thanks to the variety of professions for which they prepare and their orientation towards industrial production, to satisfy the Exhibition's regulations, without changing their programmes given the progression of the learning exercises. We find ourselves in the presence of work that is not exceptional, but conforms to that usually carried out in school workshops.

The "Dorian" and "Diderot" workshops, which are devoted to the mechanical, electrical and building arts and industries, are represented by carpentry work, by the manufacture of motors, switches or electrical inverters and by a printing workshop.

But here are the shops in the rue Émile-Reiber where the "Robert Estienne" shop, which is concerned with the art and industry of the book - printing, illustration, current and luxury bookbinding - is next to the "Oberkampf" shop, which is stocked with fabrics and wallpapers.

This succession of shops is well presented, and certainly lacks the abstract and severe aspect that is the flaw in educational exhibitions. The school opens up to life, is inspired by it, prepares for it and with life is one.

This is evidenced by the "Affiche" shop, with its advertising workshop and decorative frescoes, and even better by those of the "Artisan du Marais", and the "Bibelot d'art de Paris", where the steel and jewellery engravers from the Ecole Boulle exhibit punches and dies alongside their finished works, where the Ecole des Arts appliqués exhibits goldsmiths, lacquers and pretty brassware, and Estienne his relief engravings.

Further on, there is the "Potier du Temple" with the delicate ceramic models designed, painted and executed by the students of the Schools of Applied Arts, boys and girls, whose towers and kilns are on display.

The "Lices" are devoted to textiles, from net lace to knotted carpets.

These shops have pleasant stained glass signs.

This one, "Voici-Paris", announces fashion and flowers; this other one, "Lily-Frivolités", is the lingerie department; further on, "Chic", is the sewing, tailoring, waistcoat, tailor and embroidery workshop of the professional schools.

For these young men and women are already capable of running a shop on a street open to the luxury trade, of which the Rue Émile-Reiber will be considered a charming and coquettish reduction.

In the centre of this large room, one will examine with interest the workshop of the small typographer printer exhibited by "Estienne", the pedagogical results of the composition and drawing course based on teaching by film, a collection of ivoirines and above all the history of provincial costume represented by dolls in shimmering colours.

The École Boulle, under the direction of M. Fréchet, exhibits a set of furniture of admirable workmanship, masterpieces of cabinet making, representing the main rooms of a large salon.

In the middle of the pavilion, a rotunda with a courtyard, according to the project conceived by Mr. A. Bruneau, executed with the collaboration of Messrs. Eric Bagge and René Prou, architects. The central garden is brightened up by a fountain and decorated with sculptures. In addition, overlooking this courtyard, there are four niche-shaped stands in the corners, representing a complete modern housing complex. The boudoir and the small salon presented by "Boulle", the studio, the work of "Dorian", the small dapper ensemble with its lacquered furniture and cushions for the "Heure du théâtre" and this other carpet and small furniture - suitable for the "Heure du thé".

And now let us enter the delightful section of "Drawing at the Primary School", the general plan of which is the work of Mr. Paul Simons, surrounded by his zealous collaborators, and which, for our amazement and our dilection, is entitled "A festive day at the Primary School".

Understand that all the artists and performers in this section are our children of both sexes from nearly one hundred and fifty schools and complementary courses, from the age of four to thirteen. They were given a school to furnish and decorate, as they wished, but in the spirit of jubilation and enthusiasm that befits a school festival day.

The results are dazzling. What admirable artists our young children of Paris are, what magnificent observers, and how we have so long ignored all that childhood is capable of creating in the freshness and ingenuity of its vision.

Without doubt, the way is made easier for them thanks to the methods of M. Paul Simons and the teachers he has trained. The works, so varied in purpose and appearance, with their playful drawings and cheerful colours, require clearly indicated and carefully controlled teaching. But the greatest part of this is due to the freedom of invention left to the child and to the admirable fervour with which this teaching is communicated.

It follows that the quality of the achievements here multiplied over and over again is such that one can only compare this radiant ensemble with the most seductive discoveries of the Viennese, with whom, by chance encounter, astonishing similarities are established. Here and there, the same concern to safeguard the originality and ingenuity of the creator.

Let us insist on these very gifts, lavished by our Parisian schoolchildren who have been taught the most diverse trades, and who have known how to furnish, arrange and decorate a series of stands including - we are in a girls' school - a linen room, a workshop at work, where the supplementary manual and domestic course prepares the characters and costumes of a fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, a pretext for amusing fantasies, mannequins, animals, embroidered cushions, etc, Further on, the classroom, decorated with a frieze, with its desks, tables and chairs in light colours and so in keeping with hygiene.

Then come the library, with its shelves full of historiated books, with their beautiful endpapers and flowery bindings, the kitchen and its annex, with appetizing fruits executed in cloth, the canteen dining room, with the table set, but when will the school allow this amiable and so clean luxury which nevertheless sprang from the brains of children from Belleville or Ménilmontant!

Admire the drawing room and the headmistress's office where the headmistress, represented by a mannequin executed with a sense of humour, receives a gracious pupil.

And above all, admire the theatre where Cinderella and the beautiful carriage have been represented, the Christmas tree, with its toys sculpted and decorated to such a picturesque effect, the toddlers' puppet show and finally the children's garden with its red pergola and its white walls decorated with flowers and instruments for games and sports.

Everything here exudes joy and confidence and sings of the delightful inventions of the child's soul.

But let us not forget that underneath this attractive programme we recognise the desire to satisfy the data of vocational guidance and that it is among these children, so beautifully trained from the benches of the primary school in the creation of a work of art, that the best pupils of the vocational schools will be recruited.

There is no continuity between the moment when the child follows the generous gift of his natural exuberance and the moment when the apprenticeship of more rigorous laws assures him the acquisition of the beautiful craft.