In the general classification of the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which comprises five groups, the fifth is entirely reserved for education. The organisers of the exhibition wanted to show that they intended to
The organisers of the exhibition wished to show that they intended to give our education the benefit of new ideas, likely to communicate a more intense life to our decorative and industrial arts.
In an event where the applied arts are presented as a living reality entirely appropriate to present-day needs, there could be no question of presenting disparate objects without a precise purpose to the teaching group; it was necessary to refrain from exhibiting paintings, statistics, student drawings, etc. As for undertaking overall projects, our schools of decorative art could not think of competing with the master artists and craftsmen exhibiting in the other groups.
The programme was adopted following an open competition among all members of the teaching staff to determine the best form for the participation of technical education. The programme consisted of the creation of model workshops.
The realisation of such a programme was only possible thanks to the credits which were voted for this purpose by the Parliament, following the eloquent reports of Mr. Even, in the House, and of Mr. Serre, in the Senate.
The technical education workshops on the first floor of the Grand Palais cover an area of more than 3,000 square metres.
Friezes, put up for competition by the students of the schools of applied art, decorate the upper part of the walls; the fences, door frames, inscribed cartouches, and balustrades were made of wood, iron or cast iron by the students of the arts and crafts schools, the national professional schools and the practical industrial schools; the furniture: tables, flat or wall-mounted display cases, chairs and stepladders, were made in these same schools.
At the entrance, there are two rooms reserved for general teaching methods: there are exhibitions of applied art courses where artistic composition, drawing and execution techniques are taught simultaneously, notably at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.
Then come the wood workshops, with the large carpentry workshop with machines on one side and workbenches for manual work on the other, along with the carpentry workshop, the cabinetmaking workshop, the bodywork workshop and the basketry workshop.
In the stone room, you can see all the techniques of masonry, decoration, plastering and moulding.
The textile workshops include a printing workshop, a mechanical lace workshop, a mechanical embroidery workshop, a hand embroidery and lace workshop, and weaving workshops, in which the schools of Lyon, Tourcoing, Vienne, Elbeuf, Saint-Etienne and Saint-Chamond collaborate. The carpet and tapestry workshops are next, and in a parallel gallery, the fashion and sewing, lingerie and fur workshops, and the upholsterer-decorator's workshop. It is in these workshops that the girls' schools particularly collaborate through their work, just as it is in the other subjects, wood, metal, ceramics, glass, paper, that the participation of the boys' schools is the most important.
The workshops for various materials form a group, where one can see leather, ivory and tortoiseshell, flowers and feathers being worked on; opposite the Oyonnax room there is even a hairdressing salon.
A special room is reserved for the pre-apprenticeship workshops of the Paris Chamber of Commerce.
The metal workshops are, of course, very important. Firstly, there is the boiler making, copperware, steel engraving, precision mechanics, electric lighting and heating; then the cast iron and bronze foundry, with the chasing and mounting workshops and those of the model designers; the forge workshop, the jewellery and goldsmiths workshop, the watchmaking workshop, the cutlery workshop, the enamelling workshop, the roofing and plumbing workshop.
This is followed by the ceramics workshops, and then the glass workshops, which include the colourless glass workshop, the coloured glass workshop, the stained glass workshop, the mosaic workshop and the enamelling workshop.
The paper industries include the manual or mechanical work of typography, lithography, zincography, cardboard and bookbinding.
Finally, a commercial office equipped with all the modern conveniences completes this series of rooms.
Demonstrations are given at set times in each of these workshops, and these demonstrations are supplemented by cinematographic conferences which take place in the Salle des Congrès, also installed in the Grand Palais.
The Under-Secretaries of State, Messrs. Vidal and de Moro-Giafferri, and the very sympathetic and competent Director of Technical Education, Mr. Labbé, were the active organisers of this important event, the realisation of which was entrusted to Mr. Marcel Magne, architect-decorator, professor at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. M. Drouot, Inspector General of Technical Education, gave M. Magne precious and devoted assistance in the collaboration of the schools.
©La Science et la Vie - 1925