Park West Gallery Features Collection of the "Father of Art Deco," Erté

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Erté enjoyed a lifetime of success and recognition for the extravagance and opulence of his costume and fashion designs as well as the extraordinary intricacy and craftsmanship of his "Art to Wear" jewelry designs.

Park West Gallery Artist Biography series invites you discover the elegant designs of internationally renowned artist, Romain de Tirtoff - Erté. Ensuring his place in the annals of art history for his influence on the art movement that would become known as "Art Deco", Erté enjoyed a lifetime of success and recognition for the extravagance and opulence of his costume and fashion designs as well as the extraordinary intricacy and craftsmanship of his "Art to Wear" jewelry designs.

Born in Russia in 1892 and raised as a child of the social elite, Romain de Tirtoff moved to Paris in 1912. Here, he called himself Erté, after the French pronunciation of his initials, and began his career under the most respected couturier at the time, Paul Poiret. Soon after he began a contract with the journal "Harper's Bazaar," to which he would contribute fashion illustrations for 22 years.

Perhaps it was his fascination with the beauty and grace of the female form that prompted Erté to create such lavish costumes; "A resourceful woman who is almost downright plain can achieve the reputation of a beauty simply by announcing to everybody she meets that she is one." His limitless imagination enhanced the magical and exotic stage sets Erté designed for Hollywood movies, Broadway productions, and the Folies Bergère.

His second career with the fine print media began in the 1970's when Erté published more than 180 designs through the Circle Fine Art Corporation as well as numerous lithographs and serigraphs commissioned by a variety of other publishers. Said Erté, "I started work in the graphic medium rather late in life. I think that graphics is a form of expression that is very close to my heart because it was the medium with which I made my reappearance in the broad, international world of art."

In 1979, the Smithsonian Institution organized a retrospective of Erté's works. His designs continue to adorn the permanent collections of museums including: the Metropolitan Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, New York; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Erté played a vital role in the world of contemporary art. He died in 1990 at the age of 98 having exerted a profound influence on fashion, couture, and the ideals of feminine beauty.

"Look at me, I'm in another world - a dream world that invites oblivion. People take drugs to achieve such freedom from their daily cares. I've never taken drugs. I've never needed them. I achieve a high through work."

Park West Gallery of Michigan founded in 1969 are America's largest art dealer, selling more individual artworks than any other art dealer in the United States. Since 1980, the company has occupied its own 63,000 sq ft art gallery and in 2002, Park West built a 181,000 sq ft distribution center and gallery in Miami Lakes, Florida. Park West Gallery conducts auctions across North America in fine hotels and maintains an active catalog and internet sales business. Park West Gallery is also the largest art dealer conducting auctions at sea and currently conducts auctions on more than 60 ships for the following cruise lines: Carnival Cruise Lines; Celebrity Cruises Inc.; Disney Cruise Line; Holland America Line; Radisson Seven Seas Cruises; Royal Caribbean International; Windstar Cruises. In addition to Erté, discover the Park West Gallery Biography of artist Marcus Glenn.

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Morris Shapiro
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