Le guide du musée des arts décoratifs
Text ofJérôme Coignard
Weight : 640 g
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris holds one of the world's largest and most beautiful collections of decorative art, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Furniture, silverware, ceramics, glass, jewelry, wallpaper..., but also drawings, toys and an exceptional donation of paintings and drawings by Jean Dubuffet: its 150,000 works represent all areas of decorative arts. In this guide, the major works are commented on and placed in their historical and artistic context. Thematic approaches offer a complementary point of view on the uses, techniques or strong personalities that have marked the history of decorative arts.
In 1905, the first Summary Guide to the Museum of Decorative Arts was published to accompany the inauguration of the new museum in the Marsan Pavilion of the Louvre Palace. This work was reprinted no less than three times in 1906, 1908 and 1909. There are no photographs to accompany the brief description of the rooms, which were then spread over levels 2 and 3, as can be seen from the few plans that punctuate the work. The historical note devoted to the museum as well as the rules and regulations are opportunities to remind the visitor of the singularity of the institution: born of private initiative, the association, recognized as being of public utility since 1882, had to, in exchange for the provision of the building by the State, develop it at its own expense. After 15 years, it had to give up ownership of the collections it had assembled: since it received "no subsidy from the public authorities, the income from admission fees is entirely devoted to its maintenance, development and the enrichment of its collections". It was not until 1926 that a new guide - now illustrated - was published. A new revised and expanded version was published in 1934. The first page recalls the postulates that presided over the founding of the institution, but a new feature has been added: "By virtue of the law of August 24, 1920 renewing [the] convention [with the State], the museum's staff is now paid by means of a subsidy from the State, to which all the works belong, but the enrichment, installation and maintenance of these collections depend solely on the resources of the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs. Visitors by paying the price of their admission, subscribers by paying their dues to the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs thus contribute to the life and prosperity of a national institution of applied art education."