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Bignou, Etienne



Bignou was a Parisian art dealer, the stepson of Bonjean, a dealer whose gallery and stock on the Rue la Boétie Bignou inherited at the start of his career. When Bignou took over the gallery in 1909, he used his knowledge of the English language and his experience in the London fur-trade to sell his French paintings in London and Glasgow. He fostered his associations with The Lefèvre Gallery in London and Alex Reid in Glasgow, two firms which ultimately (in 1926) formed the partnership of Mssrs. Alex Reid & Lefèvre in London, of which Bignou became a director. In 1929 Bignou, jointly with the Parisian dealers Gaston and Josse Bernheim Jeune, bought the established firm of Georges Petit on the Rue de Sèze. They chose Georges Keller as its Director, and in three years carried out three grand scale exhibitions. Unfortunately, due to the financial strains of the time, the Galerie Georges Petit closed its doors in 1933. Bignou opened a branch of his own gallery in New York in the early 1930s; Georges Keller was a partner in this enterprise, acting in fact as director after the closing of the Galerie Georges Petit. Etienne Bignou frequently supplied Chester Dale [1883-1962] with paintings, as well as acting as an agent on his behalf.


Cooper, Douglas, introduction. Alex Reid & Lefevre 1926-1976. London, 1976

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