At the Swann, there is a spot for haute couture, with two period creations by the great fashion designer, Jacques Doucet, including the opera costume worn by the Marquise d’Aligre around 1900 and described by Marcel Proust in La Recherche as being on the shoulders of the Marquise de Cambremer, and also a place for bookbindings, with reproductions of the thirteen plates from volumes of the bound novel by Jean de Gonet.
At the Alexandre Vialatte, the Bestiaire Fantastique sculptures by his friend, Philippe Kaeppelin, are on permanent display in the rooms on the ground floor. In the adjoining display cabinets are some of Vialatte’s personal effects kindly made available to the hotel by his son, Pierre Vialatte, including his press cards, his passport and even his glasses.
At the Marcel Aymé, the Passe Muraille covers the walls, in the form of a monumental plaster print created and signed by Jean Marais for the bronze statue in the Place Marcel Aymé. The shades of a portrait of the writer and the ‘chat perché’, Alphonse, sculpted by Jean-Claude Sadoine, stand alongside two original tiles that are souvenirs of Marcel Aymé’s childhood in the Tuilerie.
At the Flaubert, a contemporary piece by the painter Hastaire, the “Portrait of Flaubert”, printed on a tarpaulin, is fixed to an outside wall in the courtyard, while the huge plaster cast of his statue by Bernstamm is displayed in the writer’s study. At the Alexandre Vialatte, there is a permanent exhibition of golden sculptures taken from his friend, Philippe Kaeppelin’s, Bestiaire Fantastique, along with the comical descriptions he wrote about them.
The Rimbaud Hotel has a copy of Ernest Pignon-Ernest’s silkscreen on newsprint, thereby rerouting it from its vocation as ephemeral and urban art, and copies of handwritten letters by the poet, generously donated by the Bibliothèque Jaques Doucet. The Jules Verne, meanwhile, boasts period goose games adapted to Around the World in Eighty Days and the original map of Mysterious Island drafted in English by the writer and reproduced by the Éditions des Saints Pères.