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Salon des Arts Ménagers

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(established 1923)

This institution, which sought to provide the French with information about all aspects of domestic management, furnishing, and decoration, began life in 1923 as the ‘Salon des Appareils Ménagers’ in the Champ de Mars in Paris. This first exhibition, largely devoted to domestic appliances, attracted over 100,000, but the Salon moved to the Grand Palais in 1926, when it was renamed the ‘Salon des Arts Ménagers’. A key figure was Jules‐Louis Breton, Under‐Secretary of State for Inventions during the First World War. In 1923 the Institut d'Organisation Ménagère (Institute for Household Management) was founded by Paulette Bernège, also an important mover in the establishment of the Ligue d'Organisation Ménagère (League for Household Management). Both Breton and Bernège were important in educating the public in this sphere of domestic life. By the 1930s, in addition to the display of domestic appliances the shows included furniture and furnishings, as well as the work of members of the Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM). By 1939 the Salon attracted over 600,000 visitors, a figure that reached 1,400,000 in 1955. However, over succeeding decades consumers became increasingly sophisticated and marketing and retailing systems underwent significant changes. In 1983 the Salons ceased as public events.

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