Musée National d'Art Moderne

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The current seat of the museum in the Center Georges Pompidou

The Musée National d'Art Moderne (MNAM) is a state museum of modern art in Paris , France . It was opened on June 9, 1947 in the Palais de Tokyo and in 1977, in line with the wishes of President Georges Pompidou , who died in 1974 , moved into its current building, the Center Georges-Pompidou , which was just completed at the time .

The museum houses one of the world's largest and highest quality collections of modern art. The fund includes more than 40,000 art objects, of which only about 900 are shown in constantly changing exhibitions. The rest are loaned to the Louvre or provincial museums. The exhibits range from paintings to sculptures, sculptures, video installations and film art to architecture, design and industrial creations.

In 2016 the museum had 3,335,509 visitors, making it one of the most visited art museums in the world.

History of the collections

The museum is occasionally referred to as the distant successor to the Musée des artistes vivants , which opened in the galleries of the Palais du Luxembourg on April 11, 1818, and thus the oldest state museum, but this statement must be differentiated because the Louvre , the Musée d'Orsay , too and the Musée de l'Orangerie took over paintings and drawings from this “transit museum”, housed in a separate building in the Jardin du Luxembourg under the name Musée du Luxembourg from 1886 , whose exhibits were transferred to other collections after the artist's death.

The Palais de Tokyo as seen from the Eiffel Tower ; the right wing housed the Musée National d'Art Moderne
Entrance to the replica of Brâncuși's studio on Place Georges Pompidou

Part of the collection had been moved to the former orangery of the Jardin des Tuileries , where it remained until 1939 , apart from the works of foreign artists who moved from there to the neighboring former ballroom Jeu de Paume .

The need for pavilions for the Paris World Exhibition of 1937 was a welcome occasion to design the Palais de Tokyo in such a way that it could accommodate the collections of the Musée du Luxembourg, which was too small and now outdated. However, during the Second World War , all works were initially brought to safety in depots in the Loire Valley and in the warehouses of the Musée National d'Art Moderne.

After the war the fund was divided. From 1947, the works of the 19th century (until around 1890) were exhibited in the Jeu de Paume, from where they moved to the Musée d'Orsay in 1986 . The works of the 20th century came to the new Musée national d'art moderne, which was finally opened in June 1947 in the Palais de Tokyo by the then Minister of Culture and Education, which was directed by Jean Cassou , the former chief curator of the Musée du Luxembourg. The collections of the Musée national d'art moderne were constantly expanded and the museum was finally integrated into the new art and culture center Georges Pompidou in 1977.

After the death of the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși in 1957, the Musée National d'Art Moderne received the contents of his studio from his estate, which contained his sculpting tools and many of his most important sculptures. In accordance with his last will, the studio was reconstructed in 1997 by the architect Renzo Piano . The replica of the studio is located next to the Center Georges Pompidou at 19 Rue Beaubourg, Place Georges Pompidou, and is open to the public.

Permanently exhibited artists (selection)

Henri Edmond Cross , Kasimir Severinovich Malewitsch , Henri Matisse , Hans Richter , Raoul Dufy , Sonia Delaunay-Terk , André Masson , Georges Rouault , Fernand Léger , Victor Brauner , Pierre Roy , Gerhard Richter , Natalja Goncharova

Directors of the MNAM

See also

Not to be confused with the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM).


  • Bernard Dorival: L'École de Paris. National Museum of Modern Art. Droemer, Munich 1962

Web links

Commons : Musée national d'art moderne  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Visitor Figures 2016. Art Newspaper, accessed June 11, 2018 .
  2. Histoire de l'Atelier Brancusi. In: Retrieved May 3, 2019 (French).
  3. Bernard Blistène dirigera le MNAM . In: Le Monde, November 15, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013 (French).

Coordinates: 48 ° 51 '37.9 "  N , 2 ° 21' 7.9"  E