An Outdated Paris Museum Makes a New Title for Itself

An Outdated Paris Museum Makes a New Title for Itself

“We’re the second-oldest museum in Paris after the Louvre and a superb neighbor of the Louvre,” stated Olivier Gabet, the museum’s director, in explaining the identify change. “Nevertheless it was necessary for us to remind people who we exist and who we’re: a museum of ‘mode’ or vogue, the humanities and design.”

(MAD in French additionally stands for Mode, Arts, Design, which Mr. Gabet known as “our three kingdoms.” The identify has additionally been given to the Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs and to the Musée Nissim de Camondo and its design and structure college.)

The Louvre, the biggest museum on the planet, attracted greater than eight million guests in 2017, MAD a file 920,000.


The bed room within the non-public residence of Jeanne Lanvin by Armand-Albert Rateau.

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Philippe Chancel/MAD, Paris

The museum was based in 1864 by a gaggle of rich French businessmen, constructed nearly totally from non-public collections and moved to the Louvre in 1905.

It has a wealthy, eclectic everlasting assortment of greater than 788,000 objects (each on show and in its reserves), together with furnishings, textiles, portray, vogue design, tableware, crafts and graphic arts, from the Center Ages to the current. It receives almost half its working funds from the French state however stays a personal museum that should increase its personal cash for exhibitions, renovations and restorations.

That very variety can confuse the general public. When the museum reopened in 2006 after a decade-long, $45 million renovation, it flaunted its beautiful area, with a hovering central atrium flooded with pure mild from round skylights. Nevertheless it nonetheless discovered it tough to model itself.

In spite of everything, how do you discover a unifying thread for a storehouse of objects that features Aubusson carpets, Sèvres porcelain, architectural drawings, groundbreaking pictures from the 1930s and 1940s, a 13th-century bronze ablution container, a 16th-century ivory skeleton on a tomb, 18th-century cupboards with intricate wooden veneers and a late 20th-century Japanese hopping robotic?


From the retrospective exhibition on Christian Dior, the biggest vogue exhibition ever mounted by the museum.

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Adrien Dirand/MAD, Paris

The museum has one of the vital necessary collections of interval rooms on the planet, starting with an imaginary medieval bed room, dismal and darkish. Then there are the bed room, boudoir and loo created for the mansion of the couturier Jeanne Lanvin within the 1920s by the grasp designer Armand-Albert Rateau, and the 1875 bronze mattress furnished with silk velvet that belonged to a well-known courtesan who was an inspiration for Émile Zola’s novel concerning the prostitute Nana.

“Sure, there’s an absence of hierarchy,” Mr. Gabet stated. “That’s a part of our energy.”

Regardless that the museum homes one of many world’s most necessary collections of design and the ornamental arts, it’s higher identified for its vogue assortment, which is on par with that of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Costume Institute in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Artwork.

The newest present, “Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve,” was the biggest vogue exhibition ever mounted by the museum. A retrospective of 70 years of the home of Dior, it featured greater than 300 high fashion robes from seven designers who led Dior beginning with Christian Dior. Throughout its six-month run, which resulted in January, it attracted a record-breaking 708,000 guests.

The museum has featured exhibitions on topics as diversified as buttons and Bauhaus, and retrospectives on such vogue greats at Madeleine Vionnet and Balenciaga. A present on Dries Van Noten targeted not solely on his vogue, but in addition on his sources of inspiration, from work to opera arias


Barbie merchandise bought in reference to an exhibition.

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Agnes Dherbeys for The New York Instances

In March, MAD will open the biggest exhibit ever of the jewelry collection of Diane Venet, whose husband is the sculptor Bernar Venet and who has amassed about 200 items by artists together with Picasso, Georges Braque and Robert Rauschenberg.

To increase its vogue assortment, the museum solicits donations from designers. Pamela Golbin, the museum’s chief curator of recent and up to date vogue and textiles, invests a substantial amount of time attending the Paris reveals to get to know designers and their work.

“We don’t compete with the large design homes who can purchase again their nice treasures at public sale,” Mr. Gabet stated. “Generally designers ask us if they’ll donate their work, typically we ask them for donations.”

The museum simply retains getting extra cool as a vacation spot for consuming and buying. It enlisted the architect Joseph Dirand to revamp its ground-floor restaurant, which reopened in 2016. It was given an informal Italian really feel and known as Loulou, after Loulou de la Falaise, a vogue muse and designer for Yves Saint Laurent.


A hoop by Bernar Venet, from the gathering of Diane Venet.

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Greg Favre/MAD, Paris

Open each day from midday till 2 a.m., the restaurant has develop into a vacation spot for Paris fashionistas and glitterati even when they don’t enterprise into the museum collections. Loulou’s signature dish is a white pizza with black truffles for 42 euros, or about $52. In good climate, the terrace opens to the deliriously lovely gardens of the Louvre and the Tuileries.

Then there’s the present store, which is price a glance even should you don’t have €350 for a pair of two-tone rose and grey leather-based gloves or €540 for a limited-series unique mild fixture from the Eiffel Tower. (There are light-weight tin dinner plates in wallpaper designs from the museum’s assortment at €9.50 every.)

Mr. Gabet is prepared to advertise his museum each time he can. When Beyoncé and Jay-Z wished to see the 2016 Barbie exhibition throughout a go to to Paris, he took them on a personal tour, then tweeted about it.

“We’re a museum that’s mad about objects,” Mr. Gabet stated, in English, rhyming it with “glad.”

Perhaps that needs to be MAD’s new slogan.

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