Index of Historic Collectors and Dealers of Cubism
Cuttoli, Marie
Tulle, France, 1879–Antibes, France, 1973

Marie Cuttoli was a collector and patron of modern French art; she was also responsible for reviving the art of tapestry weaving and carpet making in the modern era, particularly through her commissions to modern, and especially, Cubist painters. Cuttoli collaborated with artists, dealers, and museum directors throughout the length of her illustrious career, which spanned roughly 1920–1965.

At the age of sixteen, Cuttoli moved to Paris, where she was exposed to the latest trends in modern fashion and artistic production. In 1920, she married Algerian-born politician and art collector Paul Cuttoli (a close friend of dealer Paul Guillaume), from whom she acquired the funds and support to begin a small collection of Cubist art. One of her most important early acquisitions was Georges Braque’s Large Nude (1908; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris), which she purchased from French poet and future Surrealist, Louis Aragon. She also opened a design studio and exhibition space, the Maison Myrbor, on the rue Vignon in 1922, just down the street from where the Galerie Kahnweiler had previously been located. During the early 1920s, Cuttoli spent her time between Paris and Sétif, Algeria, where she set up a workshop to teach Algerian women the art of tapestry weaving. She then sold their work to production houses in Paris and displayed them at the Maison Myrbor. In 1923, Cuttoli met scientist and philanthropist Henri Laugier, with whom she began a lifetime companionship despite still being married. At this time Cuttoli developed an interest in reviving the practice of commissioning tapestries to reproduce paintings, as had been a custom during the Renaissance. She first approached artist Jean Lurçat, whose brother had designed the Maison Myrbor, with a commission for a carpet design, which was produced as The Garden in 1925. Lurçat’s work met great success at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Brussels and was purchased by French fashion designer and art collector Jacques Doucet.

Following this success, in 1927 Cuttoli began commissioning tapestry and carpet cartoons (full-scale preparatory drawings) from modern painters, in the tradition of tapis de maîtres. Early commissions included works by Braque, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, and Picasso. Although the artists were initially hesitant to surrender control of their process to weaving workshops of the Maison Myrbor in Sétif, Picasso’s willingness to collaborate with Cuttoli encouraged the others to follow suit. Cuttoli often purchased paintings for her personal collection (typically small works on paper) and then commissioned the artist to develop a cartoon based on the original piece. Such was the case with Picasso’s first carpet commission of 1928, based on his Cubist-style still life, Glass and Pipe (1917; location unknown), which Cuttoli purchased from Paul Rosenberg. In other cases, artists designed original cartoons to be woven by Myrbor workshops, as in Léger’s Cubist-inspired Carpet (1930; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris). The finished carpets were then exhibited in the Maison Myrbor, often alongside works in Cuttoli’s collection, and sold (the Polish-American collector Helena Rubinstein acquired an example of the Picasso/Myrbor carpet for her New York home in 1935 and French architect Robert Mallet-Stevens acquired one example by Léger). By the late 1920s and 1930s, Cutolli focused her attention on moving the Myrbor weaving workshops from Sétif to Paris and reviving the Aubusson and Gobelins tapestry industry. Throughout her career, she would employ the Delarbre, Simon, and Legoueix workshops to weave tapestries and produce carpets.

Cuttoli and Picasso would collaborate several times during the late 1920s and 1930s, solidifying their relationship as lifelong friends and business partners. Picasso produced a cartoon of Minotaure (1928; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris), which was woven in 1935, and his largescale Women at Their Toilette (1938; Musée Picasso, Paris) was the basis for a tapestry woven at Gobelins in the 1950s. In 1935 Cutolli moved into Laugier’s home on the rue Babylone, which housed both the small collection she had begun with her husband’s support and the one she shared with Laugier, both particularly strong in Cubist works. That same year, Cuttoli began working with gallerist Jeanne Bucher, assisting in the organization of exhibitions featuring Cubist and modern art at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher-Myrbor on 9ter Boulevard du Montparnasse. The first exhibition highlighted Laugier’s collection of Braque, Léger, Louis Marcoussis, Miró, and Picasso, among others in early 1936. Following World War II, Cuttoli was fundamental to the founding of the Picasso Museum in Antibes, encouraging Picasso to make a gift of his works to the city where he had lived in 1946. The museum was officially founded in 1966. Cuttoli and Laugier donated the bulk of their Cubist Picasso collection to the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne in Paris in 1963. Highlights from Cuttoli’s personal holdings included an ink drawing titled Violin, Glass and Bottle (1910–11) and a series of ten papiers collés produced between 1910 and 1914.

Contributed by Rachel Boate, August 2017
For more information, see:

Collection Marie Cuttoli-Henri Laugier. Basel: Galerie Beyeler, 1970.

Day, Susan. Art Deco and Modernist Carpets. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2002.

Laugier, Henri. Preface to Histoire de l’art contemporain, by Christian Zervos. Paris: Editions Cahiers d’Art, 1938.

Paulvé, Dominique. Marie Cuttoli. Myrbor et l’invention de la tapisserie moderne. Paris: Norma Editions, 2010.