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the manifesto

Decorative painting has been a form of visual communication from the beginning of mankind. Throughout the ages, it has proved its power and service to societies, but has always had an affiliation to buildings and the environment. Decorative painters are professionals in every sense of the word and offer a service and commitment to the client within a timescale and to a contract. The decorative painter is not only highly skilled in a wide range of techniques but also in aesthetics, the use of colour, the knowledge of surface coatings and their substrates, and the different periods of style. This diversity of knowledge and skills combine to produce craftspeople who are independent and individual in their own right. Styles are a reflection of the culture to which they belong and their importance in society. The quality of craftsmanship is directly related to the organization and structure of education and industrial training within society. 


Most techniques in the craft of decorative painting have been derived from ancient masters using materials originated from medieval alchemy. Many are described in books and writings, which can now be easily produced for the benefit of serious painters who are able to continue the traditions of Van der Burg, Logelain, Kershaw, Taylor, Sutherland, Desaint, Petit Bisaux, Souris, Viollet le Duc and even modern decorators aspire to the qualities of their forebears. 


The main points of the official Manifesto:



Gathering of International Decorators 

Organising Guiding Manifesto 


SALON is a gathering for International decorators to be inspired of each others work, to watch and to discuss old and new techniques as well as materials, and to exchange new information and techniques. 


It is a unique opportunity to follow demonstrations and lectures of famous and talented decorators. 


All this to emphasize this old and unique craft. 


Decorators are from origin a specific group of painters. The real ones are possessed by great possibilities of painted finishes, most of them are individuals. And then, it is a real craft full of life. Friendships all over the world will be made, brotherly and without rancour, to share information. 


SALON-days are meant for decorators, teachers as well as students to learn, participate, demonstrate and communicate on a freely basis. 


In case the hosting organization is connected to a craft-school; pupils and students are a welcome addition to the SALON-group to help out and have the unique opportunity to learn. In this light the organizer is free to choose to invite other students (the better and inspired ones) from craft-schools in the hosting country, as well as foreign schools. To enlighten the general spirit, to welcome future members, to uplift and continue the craft. 

The organizer might attempt through invitation letter to lobby for diversity amongst demonstrators. Too much of the same techniques can never uplift the craft, other than progress in perfection; which might imply competition. 

There is no limitation/discrimination on persons of belief. 

Anyone is free to comment on another’s work, in a friendly and positive way.

Only participants have a central role. 

Each SALON-gathering is in principle on a friendly base, sincere, pure, without financial or political profit. For benefit of the whole decorators group; to examine, discover and learn from every individual decorator. 

SALON gathering will take two days or four up most.

Preferable in February/March because of hotel-prices and avoiding holidays or commercial busy times. 

The SALON-gathering has a central purpose: demonstrations of participants and exhibition of works and portfolio’s (photographs). Every demonstration will be translated as far as possible. There must be opportunity for communication and discussion in spare times (like lunches, dinners, evenings). 

The organizers will see to it that there will be lingual help in form of one or two translators. During demonstrations, lectures and speeches they might translate the speakers towards the listening public. 

It is common for the demonstrators that they will be given opportunity to explain their demonstration, skill and technique to an audience. Translations will follow in short. 

The organizer is free to demonstrate his/her specialty. With help, if needed, from students. He/she has the unique opportunity to do such a ‘piece de resistance’ in front of all members at a relaxed suitable time and place to have all the attentions needed, to demonstrate and explain. 

It is only to the host and helpers to create a central demonstration at the best possible time. 

The SALON will be opened and closed officially. There might be a pre-SALON (press-conference if it is interesting or board meeting) or set-up of things with help of SALON-members. Also a post-SALON, like visitation of some sort of country’s highlight of lectures or just the last dinner evening with closing. 

Tradition since SALON 1998 might be the ‘SALON Life Time Achievement Award’. This acknowledgement to senior members is an honour to pay respect. Recommended are up most two names to put forward. The board of organisers could discuss this during a meeting, letters, fax, e-mails or telephone. The Life Time Achievement Award will be given to senior members above 50 years of age. The institution of such an award is up to the present organiser to execute. The award itself is a plaque in silver with a written appreciation.

Traditions may be prolonged (like dinners together with all participants, visitors) like the Swedish/Viking folk song and the unbreakable chain, as long as they are spontaneously arisen. They may never interfere with beliefs or become vulgar or insulting to others.

There could be held lectures as well as visits/tours to interesting decorated places or relaxing places.

The making of a group photograph might be considered at one of the days during lunch. 

Kirwin/SALON 1998 Additions: 

Those not part of the SALON-group, but wishing to participate are asked to submit some evidence of their work to the SALON host. They may decide if they want to include the applicant bases upon their portfolio, examples, resume, background experience and perhaps some research into the character of the person through references or the knowledge of current SALON members. For example: there may be a controversial character, perhaps a drunk, who might be avoided. The hosts could research the person to find out if they should attend based upon their judgement. 

Students wishing to attend should be invited by their SALON member sponsor. They should be ‘star’ students who have worked for a year or more with their teachers. No workshop students or short-term students. They might not be of good character, nor have they contributed much.

SALON members must obey the wishes of the hosts by following the schedule of demonstrations, pitching in when it is obvious and by being co-operative and courteous.

SALON days cannot be used for name or own political or commercial upgrading: like future use profits it is no brand for quality, or an exceptional degree of painters/decorators.


The next organizer will announce him/herself voluntary.

Organization of every SALON is mostly done by a (prominent) member/decorator.

Organization is done by private persons who take up the idea freely, without pressure, as being host for their friends.

Any financial contributions made by persons or business/commercial is done free at hand without purpose of advertisement or future sale by ‘pressure’. It can be mentioned, but has a minor, tiny role.

The organizer has an open heart towards anyone. Negative powers or gossip or reluctant cooperation is to be neglected.

The organizer will try to keep contact with members if needed. There will be an application form and briefing letter sent with timetable, itinerary and costs.

The present organizer will hand over the latest update of names and addresses to the coming organizer of the next year during closing dinner. 

International Gathering is named “The Salon”. This represents the group of Decorative Painters. “The Salon” is the household name. 

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