Royal Academy of Arts, London
8—27 May 2012
6 Burlington Gardens


Hermès is celebrating its 175th year with a major exhibition that celebrates the brand’s relationship with leather, the first material tamed by Hermès.

Hermès was founded by Thierry Hermès in Paris in 1837, as a house of master harness-making and later saddle-making. Six generations of enterprising artisans have explored new markets and new skills and the company has grown while still remaining true to its founding values.

The exhibition takes the visitor on a poetic journey exploring Hermès’ love of this fine material, presenting items from Hermès’ past, such as those commissioned by the Duke of Windsor for his Duchess as well as some of its latest creations.

Craftspeople from the Hermès workshops in Paris will be present at the exhibition demonstrating the art of leather working by creating some of its iconic works in situ.
To celebrate this exhibition, Hermès has created four one-of-a-kind versions of its Passe-Guide handbag as a tribute to the United Kingdom and Ireland which will be on display at the exhibition. Christie's will conduct an online auction of the handbags with all proceeds being donated to the Royal Academy of Arts.