BIOGRAPHY: Yves Beaujard

Yves Beaujard was born on 27 November 1939 in Saint-Aignan in France. He enrolled at the École Estienne, where his teachers were the famous engravers Forget and Cottet. Yves Beaujard completed his training at the Ecole Estienne in 1960. In 1966, he finished his first philatelic work: a design for a South Vietnam stamp. But Yves Beaujard mainly worked as an illustrator in the publicity industry.

The following year, when Ecole Estienne were looking for someone to go to the United States, Yves Beaujard volunteered and came to work for the United States Banknote Corporation, engraving banknotes and stock certificates. He was taught by an old American who, as Beaujard himself would later reminisce, taught him more in a very short period of time than he could ever learn during all those years at the Estienne. The old man taught Beaujard especially the art of the formal portrait engraving, also known as the American Bank Note style of engraving. It is formalised way of engraving portraits, which has been used on American banknotes since the nineteenth century. Beaujard later engraved a series of portraits of all the US Presidents which were used by the Franklin Mint. This work cemented his reputation for portrait engravings on value papers.

In 1977, Yves Beaujard returned to France. Thinking he would easily get a job as an engraver,  his efforts to get employment from the French Post were a bit haphazard, and therefore led to nothing. Beaujard found it easier to find employ as an illustrator, so he went on to illustrate various book covers, especially for children books. He also continued to work for his American clients. He always kept a soft spot for the United States.

Beaujard also kept a soft spot for the art of engraving. In 1999, he therefore contacted the french post again, this time more seriously, and was duly given the opportunity to create his first stamp: a single value marking the 146th death anniversary of the historian and social campaigner Frédéric Ozanam. Beaujard felt at the time it was a daunting step to take, after having been an illustrator for so long. Having to return to the business of engraving and on such a small format was like having to start working in cross-stitch. At the time he stated that he did saw himself as a craftsman rather than an artist. But he has always preferred the engraved stamp to any other form of stamp, even though the process may have its colour limitations. He marvelled at the fact that you could produce something which looked great when just looking at it but also when studying it with a magnifying glass. As a child he used to collect the stamps of the French colonies. He is very fond of the work of Jacques Gauthier.

In 2004, the Art du Timbre Gravé association was founded, and Yves Beaujard accepted the post of Vice-President. He said that when President Pierre Albuisson had told him about how he wanted to take action to preserve the hand-engraved stamp, Beaujard was soon convinced of the importance of this, and immediately agreed to join the association as its Vice-President.

Yves Beaujard has always been rather pro active when it comes to encouraging others to learn how to engrave. Not only among artists, Sarah Bougault for example has said she was introduced to the art of engraving by Yves Beaujard when she met him at the Ecole Estienne, but Yves Beaujard also visits secondary schools to try and enthuse the kids to learn about the art of stamps design, engravings and the various printing processes.

2004 was also the year that Yves Beaujard could work on his longing for the States: he was asked to engrave a stamp depicting the Statue of Liberty.

In 2008, his Marianne design was chosen by President Sarkozy. The design was used from 2008 to 2013.

You will find Yves Beaujard's database HERE.