1er Bal Païen - Organisé au profit de la grande masse de l&
1er Bal Païen - Organisé au profit de la grande masse de l&
1er Bal Païen - Organisé au profit de la grande masse de l&
1er Bal Païen - Organisé au profit de la grande masse de l&
1er Bal Païen - Organisé au profit de la grande masse de l&

1er Bal Païen - Organisé au profit de la grande masse de l'école nationale des beaux-arts 1925

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Beautiful poster from 1925 for the 1st Bal Païen organized for the benefit of the great mass of the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts,

The masse has always existed in the studios of the École des Beaux-Arts: first and foremost, it's the budget needed to run the studio. It comes from student subscriptions (hence the expression "payer sa masse"). By extension, the masse refers to the board of directors present in each studio, whose mission is to manage its interests and finances.

The existence of the Grande Masse is attested as early as the end of the 19th century. At the time, its main concern was to ensure liaison between the workshops for the organization of the famous "Bal des Quat'Z'Arts". By 1892, when the latter was created, an organized corps already existed. It's reasonable to assume that, in earlier times, we can trace the existence of free groups that initially brought together architects, joined by students from other sections of the École des Beaux-Arts (painting, sculpture, engraving).

The mission and objective of this new Grande Masse is to:

"create and maintain a bond of solidarity between all students and former students of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, found and develop all organizations likely to improve the situation of its members. "
The return of the First World War and the difficulties of everyday life reinforced the corporate spirit. The idea of legally grouping together all the students at the school took root in the minds of a few.
And so, on April 6 and 7, 1925, in the cellar of the "Rocher", then a famous café on the Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris, several comrades met to designate the Grand Massiers of the four sections of the École (painting, sculpture, engraving, architecture) and the Grand Massier of the École.

Raymond Müller (1893-1982 / atelier officiel d'architecture Paulin puis Pierre André) was the first Grand Massier, founder and president of the association. The Grande Masse board included Louis Allix, Grand Massier des architectes (1894 - 1964 / atelier libre d'architecture Godefroy), Francis Harburger, Grand Massier des peintres (1905 - 1998 / atelier officiel de peinture Simon) and Paul Belmondo, Grand Massier des sculpteurs (1898 - 1982 / atelier officiel de sculpture Boucher).

On January 12, 1926, when the association's articles of association were filed, the group became a legal entity. Its head office was located at 51 rue de Seine in Paris (6th arrondissement).

La Grande Masse's only capital was four hundred francs, raised from the sale of a typewriter bequeathed by the former masse.
To supplement this capital, the Grand Massier thought of organizing a ball: the Bal Païen. It was held at the Salle Bullier on January 29, 1926, under the patronage of the artistic magazine COMŒDIA. Such was its success that the following day, the Grande Masse was in possession of an estimated twenty thousand francs. What's more, thanks to tireless propaganda, the coffers filled up and memberships poured in; the circle of indifference that had surrounded the Grande Masse in its early days faded away.

Good condition, traces of folds, slight dirt


* The shadow on the top is due to the picture, it doesn't appear on the poster.

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