Marie-Francoise Dromigny and Alain Creunier both professors at the ENSAAMA (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art) organised, from the 5th to the 12th of April 2013 a moving retrospective ( 1970 – 2013) of the works done by the students and interns of the school along with a tribute to René Giroux.
Here is a summary of this event done by Alain and Marie-Francoise :
A SUMMARY OF THE RETROSPECTIVE OF THE STAINED GLASS WORKSHOP AND ITS INSTALLATION.
This exhibition has allowed the school to participate in the European day for the art professions for the third time, after the “varnish” workshop two years ago and the metal “workshop” last year.
It was therefore the “stained glass” workshops’ turn to present the work of former students by preserving the alternation: surface workshop, volume workshop.
A few points caused some difficulties : not having the address of many of the students, the frailty of the materials, impossibility to collect stained glass from all over the country ( and beyond) and the will to show the stained glass in its architectural context.
We had the idea of doing the retrospective of the stained glass workshop since its beginnings at the Olivier de Serres road, and at the same time pay tribute to René Giroux who taught in this workshop from 1945 to 1985,gave his name to this workshop and placing two signs at the entrance.
The stained glass workers that wished had the chance to show their glass, their drawings or sculptures if they would take care of the transport of the pieces. We also organized a giant slide show of over 1.700 photos which were shown in the exhibition room on three different televisions. A other list of photos was also presented in files that could be seen at any time by the visitors.
A last screen connected to the internet allowed to view websites showing all of the graduates of the last 12 years (another 1500 photos)
In the hall, the film of Charlène Giroux and that of 1962 on the creation of stained glass were on non-stop. And kakemonos showed photos of René Giroux and other more recent photos of the workshop.
A kakemono in the exhibition room showed all of the names (or nearly) of the students and interns since 1969.
We were able to use the large exhibition room built after 5 years of work under the stained glass workshop.
Alain thought of an effective way to hang to stained glass so that they were facing the sunlight.
Other smaller stained glass pieces were placed on easels and lit by electrical lamps. Three very big pieces were placed in the hall. A last series of stained glass, too big for the easels, without frames and needing natural light were placed in front of a window bay on the first floor.
The smaller pieces needing natural light were placed on stands, between the big wooden signs where all of the paper documents were. We used a few of the picture rails in the room to attach paintings, jewels, blown glass and books. A large wooden table allowed to present the small pieces lit by artificial light at the right height.
Isabelle Emmerique, professor in varnish, noted that we had presented our exhibition like a church…
The exhibition was opend from Friday the 5th of April until the 12th, every day from 9 am until 5 pm at the least even on weekends. We picnicked at the workshop Saturday because it was quite chilly and outside in the sun on Sunday.
We also had a thought for those who could not come because of the lengthy journey or had too much work in their own workshops. We also had a deep thought for those who have passed away : Guy Méliava, Fabien Schultz, Didier Alliou, Philippe Loup, Marc Pichard, Sylvain del Maestro, Norio Shimizu et Kikuchi Kenichi.
We had planned to call René Giroux, at Oléron, during the varnishing. Phillipe Giroux, René Giroux had brought a device that would allow us to speak with him with more than one telephone, but the noise around us made the transmission difficult and we finaly spoke to him with just a normal mobile phone. Those who wished to speak with him and did not go straight for the buffet had the chance to exchange a few words.
I would like to say a few words and a friendly hello to Philippe Andrieux, president of the Nation stained glass Union, who was worrying about what are students were becoming, especially those of the ten pas years : in ten years we have had only one student without a job, all of them are still practicing art and 90% are still in the stained glass field, either as employees or as owners of their own workshop, that is something for us to be proud of !
This retrospective was an occasion to meet people, to see those we had not seen in a long time. We had lively discussions where you could really see a blending of generations.
The task undertaken by our school continues, may the great spirit inspired by our masters, full of impartiality, selflessness and generosity last.
Thank you to those who participated, organized and set up this beautiful retrospective.
Marie-Françoise also handed over this page of a 1941 newspaper on which you can see M.Giroux learning glass cutting from M.Fresle :