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Lalique Designer de Luxe! Rene Lalique’s Death: Report and Obituary in Time Magazine’s May 21, 1945 Issue

Rene Lalique Obituary in Time MagazineRene Lalique died quietly in the home of his famous glass panel doors, at 40 Cours la Reine in Paris on May 1st, 1945* just a week before Victory in Europe (VE) Day, marking the Atlantic end of WW II.

Lalique had spent his last several years cut off from the world, his painful rheumatism deforming his hands, and preventing him even from drawing; as recounted in a letter from Suzanne Lalique-Haviland dated June 6th, 1945 to Calouste Gulbenkian. It was just days before he died, that Rene Lalique found out that his Wingen-sur-Moder factory was liberated by the Allies, that it had been saved, and that his valued molds were intact!

At the time of Lalique’s death, major news was coming into the United States not just from Europe, but also from the Pacific and elsewhere, as American manufacturing, technological, and military might, along with the Allied powers, was bringing the worldwide chaos to an end.

In the onslaught of news and events pouring in from all over the world, Time Magazine took note of the passing of perhaps the greatest artist of the 20th Century; and certainly the greatest industrial art designer and manufacturer the world had ever seen.

An amazingly prolific man, Lalique’s talents created or shaped decorative arts from glass tableware, to perfume bottles, car mascots and much more. Yet he was a man who’s greatest achievements in artistic design may have actually been in an earlier career in another century; as Emile Galle so subtly noted, when Lalique became the “inventor of modern jewelry”.

Rene Lalique GravesiteRene Lalique rode the industrial revolution and the new consumerism to the top in many fields. He saw opportunity in many areas of the industrial revolution. And he worked out the manufacturing techniques to make his useful consumer art achievable and affordable in a way and on a scale that no artist before him had ever accomplished. He was the right man in the right place at the right moment in time.

An original Time Magazine May 21st, 1945 Issue is available along with countless other period publications related to Lalique and his R Lalique works, in our Rene Lalique Books Section, here at RLalique.com.

And for more information on the life and times of Rene Lalique, check out our Lalique biography.

*Lalique’s date of death was reported by the New York Times on May 10, 1945, as being on May 9, 1945. Other sources, including the R.Lalique Catalogue Raisonne, place the date of his death as May 5, 1945. The actual date according to the Musée Lalique was May 1, 1945.

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