Tucked away on a dead-end street in Paris’s Falguière neighborhood, in the 15th arrondissement in the city’s southwest, there’s a house that’s been standing for over a century that’s now getting a much-needed makeover. The house in question is known as Atelier 11 and is famous among art historians as the house once inhabited by many great modernist painters.
Standing out among the other buildings with its bright red door, Atelier 11 was once a studio for rent. It continues to serve that purpose under the management of the nonprofit organizations L’AiR Arts and Cité Falguière. It was originally one of around thirty artist’s studios built in the 1860s by the sculptor Jules-Ernest Bouillot to provide affordable studios to rent to the growing number of émigré artists coming to live and work in Paris. Atelier 11’s tenants include Amedeo Modigliani, Chaïm Soutine, Paul Gauguin, Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, and Constantin Brâncuși. Unfortunately, most of the original Bouillot studios were destroyed or converted into private homes in the 1960s because of urban construction projects in the area. The new renovation project for Atelier 11 intends to preserve as much of the original building as possible. The only parts that need extensive renovation or a complete replacement are the floors, paint, and insulation, while the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems must be upgraded. Restoring the building’s façade is made far easier thanks to paintings Soutine made showing the outside of the studio, which he shared with Modigliani for a time. The repairs are long overdue, but decades-long efforts to have Atelier 11 classified as a protected, historic building have been unsuccessful.
When the project is completed, it will continue serving as an artist’s studio. L’AiR Arts uses the space as an international artist’s residency, a program initiated in 2021 after Serbian artist Mira Maodus left the studio to the group after living and working there for over forty years. The project has already raised over €100,000, while an additional €1 million will have to be raised through the Fondation du Patrimoine, France’s national heritage foundation.