Henri Samuel: Master of the French Interior
Written by Emily Evans Eerdmans, Foreword by Jacques Grange and Eva Samuel
For someone who described himself as “a twentieth-century eclectic” Henri Samuel’s skill at historic design was truly remarkable. It was an innate skill since his interiors are not readily identifiable because they seamlessly blend the lifestyle, art and antiques of the very wealthy clients who used him, such as the Rothschilds, the Wrightsmans and the Gutfreunds. He learnt his craft with Jansen and Alavoine before setting up on his own when aged sixty-six.
We see the interiors he created for his clients on both sides of the Atlantic and remarkably they look as inviting and usable today as when first created. He achieved this by acknowledging that however marvellous his clients’ collections may be they were in rooms that were meant to be lived in and so personal items and the occasional modern touch were subtly incorporated into the overall scheme. This is a book which has been long overdue because Henri Samuel certainly deserves to be in the Pantheon of the great interior designers.