A story of travel and discovery where the far East meets the West.
The Story of Gisette
The collection pays homage to Clemence 'Gisette' LeCarpentiar d'Ennery, a maverick and charismatic collector. Gisette begun collecting Japanese and Chinese chimeras in the 1840s. She constructed and embellished a house for all her discoveries in the 1870s, which is now the 'Musée d'Ennery' which is a free public museum.
In a time of France being overwhelmed by industrialism mass production she championed these precious artifacts that embodied craftsmanship and quality from an ancient culture that was admire and sought after.
Gisette struggled to be recognised as a collector and curator, just like other women of this era, who actively collected Japanese art, interacted with auction houses and art dealers, even forming collections that are now in the heart of the Louvre.
"I have always loved the period in history whereby artists in the 19th century took inspiration from Japanese art and artifacts. I discovered one of the most influential plays of this time was a woman called Gisette who was much written out of history but who was largely responsible for the movement of Japonisme where artists and collectors were able to access exotic treasures from the far East. I imagine her world in this collection and make lots of references to the art the influence over the West that ensured."
- Megan Salmon
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