Frank made his name and established his signature style when he decorated the Paris apartment of the Vicomte Charles de Noailles and his wife, progressive patrons of the arts at the time. Photographer Man Ray's black-and-white images of the apartment contributed to Frank's reputation.
Although he occasionally used bright colors, he is best known for his emphasis on non-colors. According to his niece, his favorite color was white. He was a master of luxurious understatement and decorated with materials such as rye-straw marquetry, creamy glove leather, mica, travertine, vellum, sanded oak, lacquer and shagreen.
The files of the Parsons School of Design credit the famous Parsons table to Frank, the American designer Joseph B. Platt and an unknown student at the school's Paris branch. Frank sketched the table on a blackboard and suggested a table "of the simplest possible design" that could be elegantly covered with mother-of-pearl, parchment, lacquer or ivory.
Frank's personal life was fraught with tragedy. While he was in law school in 1915, both his older brothers died on the front line during World War I, and his father committed suicide. In 1919 he lost his mother, who had been institutionalized for several years. He fled Europe in 1939, going first to South America and then to the United States.
In 1941, devastated by the Nazi occupation of France and a failed love affair, he took his own life by jumping from a Manhattan building.
From architecturaldigest.com, plusonegallery.com and dwr.com
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