The Man with the Carnation: Fans from the Gérard Lévy collection

A collection of fans owned by Gérard Levy will be on display at the Fan Museum in London from Tuesday 04 June to Sunday 29 September 2019. 

Below is the description of the exhibit by the museum

Fantasy and folly take centre stage in a spellbinding exhibition of more than 80 fans, on display for the first time in the UK…

The intriguingly titled, The Man with the Carnationshowcases the fan collection of Gérard Lévy (1934–2016), a revered dealer and connoisseur of Asian art and antique photography who collected fans for pleasure. Born in Morocco, Lévy lived most of his life in France where in 1966 he opened Galerie Gérard Lévy (designed by Le Corbusier) in Paris.

An urbane figure who always wore on his lapel a carnation flower, Lévy’s fan collection echoes some of his broader artistic interests – surrealism, for example. Themes such as fantasy, folly and exoticism resonate throughout the exhibition and reinforce his quest to collect the kitsch, curious, naïve and exemplary. A fan decorated by Gustave Doré (1832-1883), celebrated for his hauntingly beautiful engravings for Dante’s Divine Comedy, is just one of the many highlights.  Fans from the Far East also feature prominently within the exhibition and include an eighteenth century Chinese folding fan with fine cinnabar lacquer guards and another painted with the Thirteen Factories in Canton (modern day Guangzhou).

The exhibition spotlights a gentleman who possessed a deep knowledge of and appreciation for beautiful objects. The Fan Museum is honoured to work with Galerie Gérard Lévy and continue our ‘Entente Cordiale.’            
Helene Alexander, Director, The Fan Museum

It was my intention that my collection should be “off the beaten track”. Should you share my “taste” in fans I will know that I was right to collect along these lines. In any case I have had enormous pleasure from my collection. 
Gérard Lévy, 2004

About The Fan Museum

Located in historic Greenwich, The Fan Museum occupies two beautifully restored Georgian townhouses – the perfect setting for an extraordinary collection of 7,000+ fans dating from the twelfth century to the present day and gathered from almost every part of the world.  In conjunction with a varied exhibition programme the Museum runs fan making workshops and a conservation unit.

For further information, please contact:
The Fan Museum – London SE10 8ER