Yvonne Jean Haffen ( - )
From a family originating from the East of France, Yvonne Haffen showed an early interest in graphic arts, which she learned at a public school. After the war, her passion for drawing led her to attend classes at La Grande Chaumière and then, encouraged by her husband Edouard Jean, to work in the studio of the painter Auguste Leroux. This initial education enabled her to participate in the Salon des Artistes Français in 1924 and 1925.
But in 1923, she met the painter, decorator and illustrator Mathurin Méheut. This meeting was decisive as she discovered, through him, the pure forms of Art Deco at the Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris. From then on, she devoted herself passionately to drawing, painting, wood and linoleum engraving, illustration and ceramics.
In 1926, thanks to Mathurin Méheut, she also discovered Brittany and from then on made many visits there. The Breton anchorage was confirmed with the purchase, in 1936, of "La Grande Vigne" on the port of Dinan. In 1925, she began a collaboration with the Henriot faience factory in Quimper where she worked until around 1950. She also made ceramic pieces for Parisian ceramists and at the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres. Her shaped pieces were influenced by the regionalist trend of the time.
Although Brittany was certainly one of her favourite subjects, she also worked a lot in Paris, in the provinces and abroad. She exhibited at the Colonial Exhibition of 1931, at the International Exhibition of 1937 and individually at the Maison de la Bretagne (1957) as well as in galleries (Galerie Charpentier in 1933). She also illustrated several books.
Although she was recognised as a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres and holder of the Collier de l'Hermine, from the 1970s onwards she was more concerned with perpetuating the memory of Mathurin Méheut than with promoting her personal production. In 1987, she donated an exceptionally rich heritage to the town of Dinan. Yvonne Jean-Haffen died in Dinan, after a very rich artistic life.