Definition by the Minister of Culture and Communication
A Master Artist is a professional par excellence that masters exceptional techniques and know-how. He is recognised by his peers for his experience, his expertise and his educational competences. He must be capable of passing on his knowledge and his tricks-of-the-trade to a student so as to perpetuate them.
The creation of the official title of master artist was inspired by the 'Living national treasures' of Japan; by their example, the Master Artists transmit their know-how of excellence. They are concerned with the evolution of their trades, and show innovation. Currently, France counts 89 Master Artists named by the minister of culture and communication.
Etienne Vatelot - Honorary President of the Art Crafts Council
The Masters of Art, like the National Living Treasures of Japan, are the carriers of a living and harmonious culture, which is sometimes referred
to as the intangible heritage, which they strive to bring to perfection and to transmit, ceaselessly enriching it, with an alert mind and confronted with the demands
of matter and art.
Etienne Vatelot Honorary President of the Art Crafts Council
Art crafts are one of the laboratories of the future. Some thirty thousand French craftsmen in their workshops strive hard to restore, reproduce, repair and create art objects.
The restoration of the paintings of the Louvre or of the dome of the Invalids, of the statues of the Tuileries Gardens or of the embroideries of high fashion collections, and of the stained glass of the Chartres cathedral.... the work of the Masters of Art is present everywhere in our daily lives.
The works of the Masters of Art are sometimes anonymous; they are often in the shadow of the artist, although nothing that seduces our look would be possible without them. The title of Master of Art was created in order to highlight the talent of the art craftsmen; but also to recall that the elements and signs of our culture, its museums, monuments, music, books, theater, are also the results of exceptional skills. Each work, whether it is linked to the restoration of our heritage or to contemporary creation, is often unique; it summons up an incomparable technical skill combined with a constant capacity for invention. The Masters of Art, like the National Living Treasures of Japan, are the carriers of a living and harmonious culture, which is sometimes referred to as the intangible heritage, which they strive to bring to perfection and to transmit, ceaselessly enriching it.
What could be more natural than to observe so many young people who are attracted by this original and balanced way of living : carrying out a fascinating trade in a convivial environment, with an alert mind and confronted with the demands of matter and art?
Despite the fragility of these crafts and how hard times are, I am convinced that the Masters of Art are showing the path to the future.