Art market Magazine March 2015

 
INTERVIEW / GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL 
 
How do…
INTERVIEW / GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL

How do you choose your partners? We first of all respond to demand, because we receive a lot of requests. Our priority is State museums. We reject
shopping centres, exhibition areas and casinos – like one request from Macao. In Japan, we were approached by large department stores wanting to base their communication for the year on a visit from the Musée d'Orsay. We don't do that kind of project. Secondly, the management wants to expand to new horizons and try out new continents, like Latin America. We were the first to go to Brazil. “Impressionism, Paris and modernity: masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay”, which went to Sao Paulo and then Rio, brought in 870,000 visitors. This was the first time we had proposed a proper exhibition in South America. Afterwards, it was very satisfying to see institutions like Beaubourg and the Louvre following in our footsteps. Currently, we have our sights set on Chile, as France has

a glowing reputation there. One example of this splendid francophilia is the Fine Arts Museum in Santiago, built in 1910: it's a copy of the Petit Palais in Paris. Obviously, these events are only possible in countries with a flourishing economy, because it means considerable investment for the organisers in terms of transport, insurance and so on. So how do you juggle this programme with what's on show in Paris? Clearly, when Manet's "Le Fifre" has gone off to Brazil, it's no longer in the museum! But our collections have doubled in size since the museum opened, so our rooms are very well stocked, and 80% to 90% of the principal masterpieces are always on show. In addition, over half our collection is not allowed to leave the museum, like the Gachet donation with its twelve Van Goghs, which are always on display. An

"Millet, Courbet and French Naturalism: masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay" presented at the China Art Museum in Shanghai, 16 November 2012 to 28 February 2013.


GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL / INTERVIEW

event abroad will feature one or two absolute masterpieces, and then a more or less acknowledged hierarchy comes into play. It's rather like the
film world, where the producer buys such and such an actor, depending on the number of tickets he hopes to sell. Sometimes a single star is enough. Exhibitions last three months on average: that's the international standard. They each involve around sixty works. Meanwhile, loans represent 1,200 to 1,400 works per year. That means that works have to be rotated, but the management of this turnover is part of the very life of the museum. Which projects mean the most to you? At the beginning of February, we opened an exhibition at the Fundación Mapfre in Madrid, which we work with every year. It focuses on Academicism, and it's our first event on this theme. Like the one on Natu-

ralism presented two years ago in Shanghai, it has enabled us to take stock of this part of the national collection, historically scattered between numerous regional museums through the old State deposit system. These exploratory exhibitions make it possible to work on the collection, look at the works again, bring them back to the museum, restore them, find the original frames, collect documentation on them and write notices for the works. This is extremely useful and important for the museum. This year, we have also programmed The Douanier Rousseau in Venice, Claude Monet in Turin, and Impressionist Portraits in Rome. For 2016 and the France-Korea years, we have slightly shifted one planned exhibition to coincide with the anniversary, which should make it possible to raise funds. This will be dedicated to Realist and Academic painting from Millet to Bouguereau. Interview by Stéphanie Perris-Delmas

to see
"Swan song. Academic painting from the Musée d'Orsay". Until 3 May 2015, Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid. www.musee-orsay.fr

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Art Market Magazine March 2015
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