Kirigami art

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David Stark: How did you get involved with the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris?

Jane Schulak: I became involved with the Musee des Arts Decoratifs because of the friendship that I had with the president, Helene David-Weill. When Helene put me on the board she asked me if I wanted to become very active in the selection and restoration of objects. As I learned about the museum and met all of the curators I began to form an understanding and a familiarity with not only the mission of the museum but the collections themselves.

DS: How did you come up with the idea for the event?

JS: This particular museum like many others has an amazing collection that the public never sees. I decided to make a paper luncheon for several reasons. First of all, it was a natural for the museum because they have the largest, oldest, and most comprehensive collection of paper and presses in the world. My objective was to introduce my friends to the museum and to try to get them engaged without overwhelming them. It is easy to enjoy paper and to react to it because it is so pretty and pleasing to the eye. SO I decided to find a new Young Artist French paper, Marianne Guely , and Began working with Her to Come up with Ways to reinterpret Several Ancient Papers. The results were outstanding on so many levels because of Marianne's talent.
Then, I chose a room in the Louvre that had fantastic and important architecture but could still serve as an excellent backdrop for the installation. It was a completely harmonious relationship between the space and the art; everything was high drama in a good way! I created a structure for the day, which began with the lunch itself. In the room facing the Rue de Rivoli, I placed a large piece of wallpaper that was used for the design of the invitations. On the walls around the room were many examples of reinterpretations of old papers; I included by each piece a small card that explained where the inspiration came from. Opposite the Rue de Rivoli is the Tuilleries Garden; we opened all the doors as if the lunch was practically in the garden.It was visually mind blowing, so beautiful; we did every single detail on the table out of paper and even included the paper book written by "Veronique de Bruignac-La Hougue", the amazing paper curator. I even had "Philip Model" design a wonderful paper of clouds to hide where the catering production was.
After lunch, we took everyone to see one of the presses where they designed a new paper using many archives and titled it "Jane". From there we went into the archives and were so lucky to experience and see the awesome permanent collection.
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DS: How did you choose the right partners to help you bring the vision to life?

JS: Choosing the right partners was not difficult at all for me. Actually I have an incredible teacher and friend in Paris by the name of "Barbara Wirth", she not only has the most amazing style in the world, but has been the most generous friend in the world and has introduced me all of Paris. Through Barbara I have so many connections in the ultra chic world of craft and all beautiful things.

DS: Why paper?

JS: I chose paper because I love it and the collection is so vast. There are no pretentions with paper it is so easy to become engaged and it is so beautiful. It was a lot of fun to translate something so old in a modern way. We even saw in the archives one of their oldest pieces of paper, which was used 200 years ago in a chicken coop.

DS: What were the challenges of working with paper on that scale?

JS: For me the challenge was assembling the right team. Once I had organized everyone the job became quite simple. Working in a large scale was not an issue at all; in fact it made everything more exciting.Marianne was a genius in her design because she made so much of it three dimensional, the room was alive.
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