Berthe and André Noufflard were art students in Paris at La Grande Chaumière under Lucien Simon when they met in 1910. They married the following year and until André’s death in 1968, their lives together were dedicated to art, beauty and raising their two daughters, Geneviève and Henriette.
Though they enjoyed painting together, Andre and Berthe Noufflad each had their own styles as artists. André painted landscape views of the countryside that surrounded their homes in Paris, Normandy and Florence. Berthe preferred intimate interior scenes depicting their home and children. The Noufflards’ circle of friends included artists, musicians, and writers. Over the course of their careers, they were successful contributors to annual exhibitions in Paris and to gallery shows throughout France.
During World War II, John Spence of Memphis, Tennessee was on board an American B-17 bomber from the Eighth Air Force that went down in Brittany in German-occupied France. For over a month, Geneviève and Henriette Noufflard, along with other members of the French Resistance, hid Spence and helped him avoid capture. He eventually escaped through Spain. The experience naturally led to a warm friendship between the Spence and Noufflard families.
On a trip to Memphis to see the Spence family in 1983, Geneviève visited the Dixon Galley and Gardens. That visit led to an exhibition of her parent’s paintings at the Dixon in 1988 and 1989. Eventually, Geneviève and Henriette generously donated forty works by Berthe and André to the museum. The first, Berthe’s Model before a Chinese Screen, was presented in 1990 and the remainder came five years later.
Learn more about Barthe and Andre Noufflard at www.noufflard.fr