François Mathey et les collectionneurs. : Une exposition emblématique, " Ils collectionnent " au musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, 1974

Abstract : In 1974, the chief curator of the Museum of Decorative Arts, François Mathey (1917-1993) organized a group exhibition entitled "They collect". Regarded at that time as an unprecedented sociological exhibition, it attracted the interest and raised several questions: which are the social functions of the collection? Why do we create a collection? What does the collection reveal about the identity of its author ? What are the elements that we collect and why? When the objects in the collection change and new collectibles appear, what are the aesthetic implications ? François Mathey has exposed for a long time private collections in his museum: in 1958, the pieces of art collected (since 1694) by the patrons of Franche-Comté for the museum of Besançon ; then he presented the American private collection of Solomon Guggenheim, and in 1967, he showed the "raw art", outside art of the Dubuffet collection. He also presented creations that were not legitimate in a museum yet: the photography in 1955, images of science fiction, comics, folk art, outside art in 1967, etc. The exhibition of 1974 gathered eighty private collections. François Mathey illustrated the evolution of taste in the French society of the seventies. He also aimed to highlight the collection as a creation, which is also a piece of art in itself: the art that we show and that we hide: for this purpose, he invited famous artists to come like Annette Messager. "Finally," he wrote in November 1973, "one of my old dreams will come true [...] to provide to the public the revelation of these secret unsuspected, unacknowledged collections, which are the result of long and constant love, of a patient search, without any concern for reputations, of speculation trends and conventions of fashion and taste. To demonstrate that there is no hierarchy between minor or major art, that art is everywhere, fragile and hidden where we don't expect to find it. "
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Contributor : Brigitte Gilardet <>
Submitted on : Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 2:40:33 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 2:39:58 AM
Long-term archiving on: Friday, September 5, 2014 - 11:36:44 AM


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Brigitte Gilardet. François Mathey et les collectionneurs. : Une exposition emblématique, " Ils collectionnent " au musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris, 1974. 2014. ⟨halshs-01001983⟩



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