Bill Rau and the Legacy of Fine Art: A Look into M.S. Rau’s Art Deco Exhibition

Bill Rau and the Legacy of Fine Art: A Look into M.S. Rau's Art Deco Exhibition
Photo Credited to M.S. Rau

In the heart of New Orleans, a city renowned for its rich cultural tapestry, historic architecture, and vibrant arts scene, stands a gallery that has been a beacon of excellence in the world of fine art, antiques, and jewelry since its inception in 1912. M.S. Rau, founded over a century ago, holds a special place in the world of art connoisseurs and collectors. This timeless establishment continues to amaze and inspire, transcending the boundaries of time and style.

While the M.S. Rau website and social media accounts provide a glimpse into the treasures within its walls, there is a recent announcement that aficionados of art and design should not miss. The gallery is set to unveil its latest exhibition, “Erté & The Era of Art Deco,” which promises to be a captivating journey into one of the most iconic art movements of the 20th century.

Erté & The Era of Art Deco: A Glimpse into Opulence

Scheduled to open its doors on October 14, 2023, this exhibition is a testament to M.S. Rau’s commitment to preserving and showcasing art in all its forms. The show will be hosted at the gallery’s prestigious location on 630 Royal Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, and will remain open to the public until January 3, 2024. What’s more, art enthusiasts from around the world will have the opportunity to experience this captivating exhibition virtually through the gallery’s website,

The focal point of “Erté & The Era of Art Deco” is the legendary artist Erté, often hailed as the “Father of Art Deco.” Born Romain de Tirtoff, Erté’s influence on the Art Deco movement is immeasurable. The exhibition boasts an impressive collection of nearly 170 original works by Erté, including his iconic gouache paintings used in designing fashion shows, nightclubs, and stage performances. Visitors will be immersed in the world of Erté, exploring his illustrious career and his enduring impact on high society, modern culture, and the decorative and performing arts.

The allure of Art Deco lies in its sleek and stylized forms, geometric patterns, and vibrant colors—a reflection of the exuberance of the Roaring Twenties. Erté’s work embodies this spirit, and the exhibition offers a unique opportunity to delve into his creative genius.

A Dazzling Array of Treasures

Beyond Erté’s masterpieces, “Erté & The Era of Art Deco” showcases an array of works from prominent artists, designers, and jewelers who embraced the Art Deco aesthetic championed by Erté. From period jewelry crafted by renowned houses like Cartier and Raymond Yard to glass masterpieces by visionaries René Lalique and Camille Fauré, the exhibition presents a comprehensive view of the decorative arts that flourished during this era. Exceptional furniture crafted by the period’s finest artisans rounds out the collection, offering a glimpse into the opulence and sophistication of the Art Deco movement.

M.S. Rau’s President and third-generation owner, Bill Rau, expresses his enthusiasm for this extraordinary exhibition, saying, “Erté & The Era of Art Deco will absolutely bring to life the enduring legacy of Art Deco design. Join us as we indulge in the glitz, the glamour, and the timeless allure of this iconic period.”

A Legacy of Excellence

M.S. Rau’s dedication to preserving and promoting exceptional art, antiques, and jewelry is deeply rooted in its history. Bill Rau, the third-generation owner, is not only a connoisseur of fine art but also a respected expert in 18th- and 19th-century European and American antiques and fine art.

Bill Rau’s journey in the family-owned gallery began at the age of 14, and he has been a driving force in its success since. After earning his degree in Business from the University of Colorado in 1982, he returned to New Orleans and embarked on a highly successful career as one of the foremost antique experts and gallery owners of our time.

His influence extends far beyond the gallery’s walls, as he has helped place numerous items in museums around the world, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others. His extensive knowledge is complemented by his dedication to sharing it through articles, lectures, and authorship, including his acclaimed work, “19th Century European Painting, From Barbizon to Belle Epoque.”

Today, Bill Rau serves as President of the Royal Street Guild and is a member of prestigious organizations such as the Wedgwood Society of New York and Boston, the American Cut Glass Association, and the Young Presidents’ Organization, to name a few.

M.S. Rau’s enduring commitment to quality, historic value, and beauty remains at the core of its mission. The gallery’s offerings are a testament to the passion and dedication that have allowed it to present only the most exceptional in fine art, antiques, and jewels to discerning collectors and enthusiasts.

As “Erté & The Era of Art Deco” prepares to make its grand debut at M.S. Rau, the world eagerly anticipates a journey into a bygone era of opulence, sophistication, and timeless design. This exhibition promises to be a celebration of artistic brilliance and a testament to the enduring legacy of M.S. Rau in the world of fine art and antiques.

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