The Enfants des Arts charity was founded in 1880 by Marie Laurent and Sarah Bernhardt. Many artists contributed to its development and encouraged its activities throughout the XXth century: Hortense Scheider, Gustave Charpentier, Yvonne Printemps, Juliette Achard, Suzanne Flon and many others. A bequest by Gustave Dore was used for the purchase of a house in Courbevoie belonging to the painter Emile Adam.
At the outset, the charity 's object was to take in children of artists, mostly orphans, and give them an education in which the artistic disciplines played a large role: music, drawing, dance, drama and sewing...Later on, classes were no longer held on the premises and the house became a home for artists' children. Its new function was to be a place where children could both live and expand their general knowledge and artistic skills beyond those received in the course of their schooling.
Les Enfants des Arts is no longer limited to sheltering artists' children exclusively but it houses any young person( boy or girl) aged 14-22 who has come to Paris or nearby suburbs in pursuit of an artistic education. Whether from the provinces or from abroad, the young will find an organization which will facilitate their individual studies and extend the learning acquired externally: in colleges, lycees, schools and/or conservatories.
The wide range of disciplines practised by these young people makes for a friendly and warm atmosphere.The number of skills practised can be expanded at will: painting, sculpture, graphics, advertising, theatre, dance, directing, instrumental and vocal music, applied arts...
Les Enfants des Arts is housed in a beautiful large XIXth century mansion which opens onto a vast garden shaded by century-old trees. This haven of peace is accessible by numerous means of transport, and close to the childrens' places of learning; thus, it offers a rare opportunity to discover all of Paris and its surroundings.
The building has just been refurbished completely to conform with up-to-date norms. This renovation, while creating modern and comfortable interior spaces, has respected the harmony of the facades facing the park, with its romantic chestnut-tree-shaded square. The verandahs, the bow-windowed lounge, the precious souvenirs on show give the place the charm of a family home...
The establishment consists of 2 buildings: the main one, four-floors high, has a lift. It contains single and double rooms for 64 boarders. All have a designated space for personal belongings, a work-table, a computer outlet and bookshelves.
The guests may use three studios for music, dance or plastic arts, study rooms, a television room and a lounge.
Supervision at Les Enfants des Arts is the responsibility of the Director and his assistants.
For the children on the premises, breakfast, tea and self-service dinner are served in the dining room adjoining the garden. Those who cannot return in time for dinner - the main communal meal - are not forgotten; meals on trays are available to them.
In principle, the house is closed on weekends. However, the same conditions as during the week continue to be available to boarders. The same applies during school holidays.