NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — In the 20th Century, the Russian-born French artist, Romain de Tirtoff, known as Erté, transcended to art world with Art Deco.

Recently, the world renown art, antiques and jewelry shop, M.S. Rau, acquired much of Erté’s work. They have the gouache works for sale and on display in a new exhibition.

Amanda Chunn is the exhibition curator and says, “We have over 150 original works by Erté. He was an incredible fashion designer in the early 20th century and highly influential. What we think of as Art Deco was influenced by what he did early in his career. He emerged in this period in-between two world wars. This is where we see flappers, cocktail culture and night clubs.”

Erté had a large reach of influence in the world entertainment, style and sophistication and still does today.

“He created costumes for dancers, actress and created set designs. He was working with Hollywood starlets. Zizi Jeanmaire was a famous French actress of the period. He created numerous pieces for her. She was one of his greatest muses,” says Chunn.

New Orleans’ party culture of cocktails and society is a perfect place for the exhibition, as some of the subject matter seems to mirror the spirit of the Crescent City.

Chun says, “There is really no better city to present these outside of Paris, than in New Orleans, because so much of what made the 1920s really swing, is felt here in New Orleans today.”

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