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I NTRODUCTION

ABOVE AND RIGHT: COCO CHANEL’S PARIS APARTMENT, 1930S

lives of these men were in danger, Boudin guided them through the unfamiliar tasks of assembling paneling and plasterwork, installing draperies, and hanging works of art. He then returned to Paris with disappointing news for the families of the Jansen workers; he distributed messages to the relatives of the men he had found in Berlin and who were later returned to their prisons.51 Jansen’s satellite offices in Buenos Aires, Cairo, and Alexandria apparently remained open through the war, although there are no known surviving records of their output. The New York office stayed open under Francis Chaillou, designing mostly apartments for a range of clients, including the American fashion entrepreneur Hattie Carnegie and the socialite Ava Ribblesdale.

With the Normandy invasion of June 6, 1944, and the defeat of the Third Reich a year later, Europe was left damaged and smoldering, and Boudin, like many of his contemporaries, saw the future of his firm tied to millionaires in the United States. Although many of Jansen’s prewar clients had been Americans, Boudin ensured that the main concentration of the firm was directed to garnering new clients in New York City, Washington, and Palm Beach. In his personal life, too, Boudin embraced anything American. He acquired a Packard convertible for driving around Paris and encouraged his daughter, Brigitte, to communicate with him in English whenever possible, whether in letters or conversation.52

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Jansen: Decoration (excerpt)  

Jansen showcases 30 of the company's most alluring commissions, including rooms for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Shah and Shahbanou...