A native of Alsace, Jeanne Bucher embarked on a new career when she was in her forties, becoming an art collector and dealer in Paris. Previously, she had worked in several Swiss libraries and then served as a nurse during World War I. After moving to Paris in 1920, her Alsatian friends and the artist Jean Lurçat welcomed her into their artistic and literary circle. Five years later, at the age of fifty-one, she opened a library-gallery within Pierre Chareau’s interior design store at 3 rue du Cherche-Midi, Paris.
Bucher’s earliest displays were devoted to Cubism: the first was a group show of works on paper by Marcel Gromaire, Lurçat, Jules Pascin, Louis Marcoussis and sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz (May 4—June 4, 1925), followed by a presentation of Picasso’s papiers collés and drawings that November. She also published artists’ books, including Max Ernst’s Natural History (1926), which earned critical recognition. Bucher sometimes purchased works from other dealers, such as a set of Gris drawings that she acquired from Léonce Rosenberg. One of these is Still-Life, The Tobacco Pouch (1918; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Promised Gift from the Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection).
In 1929 Bucher opened an independent gallery, located next door at 5, rue du Cherche-Midi, which she inaugurated with a display of works by Braque, Gris, Léger, and Picasso. Unfortunately, the global economic crisis led to her need to sell the gallery during the summer of 1932. Subsequently, Bucher began collaborating with the dealer Marie Cuttoli who ran a gallery and design studio, Myrbor. Together, they exhibited and produced tapestries after maquettes by renowned artists, including Léger and Picasso.
In late 1935 Bucher opened another gallery at 9, boulevard du Montparnasse where she displayed the collection—which included works by Braque, Léger, Henri Laurens, and Picasso—of Cuttoli’s future husband, Henri Laugier. Bucher was a staunch supporter of Cubism throughout her professional career; in 1944 she explained, “Even if they are very expensive right now, this is the future."