The Foundation Les Maîtres de l’Imaginaire (Masters of the Imaginary) has recently been created in Lausanne, Switzerland, founded by Etienne Delessert in 2017. Its mission is to develop a long-term collection of original artworks from renowned illustrators of children’s books in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
The collection will be archived in Lausanne and exhibited in individual and group shows, with richly illustrated catalogs. A number of exceptional artists have already agreed to participate in the project, with loans and donations.
Les Maîtres de l’Imaginaire will be a unique pedagogic venture, in partnership with the HEP Vaud, in Lausanne.
Situated in the French part of Switzerland, HEP Vaud is a state university in charge of training about 2,600 future teachers and more than 10 000 teachers in continuing education programs, reaching first grade students, up to the end of high school.
It will be a unique collaboration between artists, critics, analysts and specialists of children’s literature, so future teachers and their pupils will acquire notions on how to read and interpret a picture.
This program will be introduced in Switzerland in Fall 2019 and then offered to other school systems in Europe and the U.S. 750–1,000 originals will be gathered and cared for yearly by a small, very professional team, starting this Fall. It brings together a great art collection, linked to innovative research.
(Above: “The Lion Tamer,” an exhibition of designer and art director Rita Marshall, who has worked with many of the illustrators represented by Les Maîtres de l’Imaginaire.)
About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.