Fondation Custodia, survival of a tradition

The Fondation Custodia is a Dutch art foundation. It was set up in Paris in 1947 by Frits Lugt to house his collection of paintings, drawings and prints. Today, the foundation has more than 80,000 works and its operation is on a par with that of large museums. Art Media Agency went to meet its director Ger Luijten to find out more. Before talking about the institution, can you tell us a bit more about your background, how you came to become particularly interested in works on paper and joining this foundation? I was a teacher before becoming an art historian. At the age of 20, I taught drawing in Breda, a little town near the Belgian border. It was around the middle of the 1970s that I discovered art history, and I knew straight away that this was my vocation. Later, I joined the army before picking up my studies again at the University of Utrecht, starting art history at 22 years. A turning point was my internship at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in the drawing collection. Lucas de Leyde was among the museum’s great specialists. I was won over. I worked on several volumes of a reference series by Hollstein on engravings. At the end of the 1980s, I spent three years as a curator of drawings and prints at the Museum of the Bohemian (Rotterdam). This was a great experience. It was a unique collection in the Netherlands with many Italian and French drawings from the 18th century. It was very international. In 1990, I went back to the Rijksmuseum. I spent 20 years of my life there, between 1990 and 2010. I then joined the Fondation Custodia, which allowed me to come and live in Paris. The Lugt collection and the heritage that he wanted...

Tags: , , , , ,

The Hôtel Drouot to sell works by photographer Jean-Pierre Leloir

On Wednesday 6 April 2016, a sale of photographs by Jean-Pierre Leloir (1931-2010) will be held at the Hôtel Drouot, organised by the auction house Kapandji-Morhange. Jean-Pierre Leloir’s photographic works are inscribed in the history of music as they portray the international music scene. His career began in 1950, and it was in the world of jazz – his great passion – that he took his first photos, before widening his practice to classical music, French song artists and rock. Leloir was thus a privileged witness of the musical scene of his time in a number of musical genres. Cofounder of the monthly magazine Rock & Folk, he is also responsible for the well-known photograph gathering Brassens, Brel and Ferré, taken in...

Tags: , , , , ,

Olafur Elissaon to be the next artist to exhibit at Versailles 

According to Valérie Duponchelle (Le Figaro), Olafur Eliasson will be the next guest artist at the Château de Versailles. Selected by Catherine Pégard, he will thus follow the trail of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Lee Ufan and Anish Kapoor while “intensifying” his relationship with France. The curatorship of the exhibition will be undertaken by Alfred Pacquement, responsible for the Centre Pompidou’s acquisition of the artist’s works a few years ago. Following a major exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2002 and at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in 2014, the artist will be taking on the Château de Versailles – a site where cohabitation with contemporary art can be difficult and has sometimes raised controversy. But this prospect does not intimidate Olafur Eliasson: “It’s very important to welcome debate in this public space.” This selection will certainly be an opportunity for the Château de Versailles to nurture the dialogue between the institution and contemporary art, announced by the artist as “an ode to the Sun...

Tags: , , ,

Liquidation of the company Aristophil

The company Aristophil and its sizable collection of letters, manuscripts, music scores, early printed books and paintings are on the verge of disappearance. A call for potential buyers has been launched. The sale is being managed by the Paris Commercial Court. The collection comprises extremely rare documents issued by major historic figures such as Napoleon, Einstein, Mozart, Sade, Chopin, Dead Sea manuscripts, Eisenhower, Bronte, Churchill, Marie-Antoinette, and De Gaulle. This collection was created in 2003 and gathers almost 130,000 pieces — including 500 pieces of museum quality. Its total value is estimated at several hundreds of millions of euros. The deadline for submitting an offer was 3 February 2016 at 5 pm, as announced by the Paris Commercial Court. Aristophil is a French specialist company that sold shares in the ownership of written documents considered as financial investments. Following suspicions of gang fraud, its managers were charged and Aristophil placed in liquidation in March...

Tags: , , , ,

Christine Lancestremère takes the helm of collections at the Musée Rodin

The Musée Rodin has announced its appointment of Christine Lancestremère as chief curator of the collections of the museum. She succeeds Aline Magnien, now director of the Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques, a State body for research into historic monuments. Christine Lancestremère was previously chief curator of the Musée des Monuments Français, in charge of the Cast Gallery. A plaster specialist, she was also with the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration of the Musems of France for eight years, where she was in charge of the Sculpture division. Since reopening after three years of works, on 12 November 2015, the Musée Rodin has welcomed 89,000 visitors, a result below the institution’s initial objective. The Musée Rodin management cites the exceptional context of Paris attacks as responsible for this result, and underlines that visits have distinctly picked up since...

Tags: , , , ,