Muzealnictwo (2019-07-01)


  • Agnieszka Kluczewska-Wójcik

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 60
pp. 143 – 153


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The French museum world is dominated by large public institution. The cradle of public museology, France boasts a long-standing tradition of central management in this domain, whose continuation can be found in the current legislative solutions (Act of 4 January 2002) organizing the system of museum activity, their approval, and financing modes. It is all based on the musée de France status that can be granted to institutions owned either by the state or to any other legal entity under public law or legal entity under private law engaged in a non-profit activity. The latter, belonging to associations and foundations, or run by them, in order to win the state’s recognition and support, have to comply with specific requirements defined in particular with respect to conservation and scientific elaboration of the collections, as well as to making them available for public viewing. What dominates among ‘private’ museums are institutions of the public benefit organization status, whose model was shaped in the 19th century, e.g. the Paris Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs or Cinémathèque Française, to a substantial degree financed with public resources. Some of them, e.g. ecomuseums and industrial museums in Mulhouse, are almost self-sufficient financially. Another form of a ‘private’ museum is a foundation set up by a company/ concern or artists and patrons. The latter group includes institutions that are owned by e.g. Institut de France in Paris, Musée Calvet in Avignon, or Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, as well as first of all those involved in mounting big Paris exhibitions, foundations – museums of modern art: Fondation Cartier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, or Collection Pinault which is currently being established. Thanks to their spectacular architectural settings, aggressive publicity policy, and astounding turn-out successes, these new private museums are substantially transforming the artistic stage in France.