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Musée du quai Branly, la collection

At the museum of quai Branly, behind Jean Nouvel’s architecture, only 1% of the nearly 290 000 objects of the collection are presented to the public: it is so little! And yet, there is already so much to be said of these pieces exhibited, as it is so laborious for a European eye to decipher them. This catalogue which once again, in spite of its size, did not chose to be exhaustive, tries to do just that by detailing some 150 essential pieces. In figures, that only represents 5% of the 1% exhibited, which in any case gives a respectable volume of 500 pages…From the over-modeled mask to the Japanese New Year’s rope, from the magic stone to the pendant, from the lamp for rituals to the doorstep of the Indonesian house, each object is the object of a long index card which details its use and its function. The whole presentation is organized by continent and according to a chronologic scale to avoid mixing up the rare points of reference the honest man of the XXIst century has regarding extra-European civilizations…

• Musée du quai Branly, la collection, Skira/Flammarion, 2009, 482 p., 55 €, ISBN : 978-2-0812-0876-6

Musée du quai Branly, la collection -

Review published in the newsletter #132 - from 7 May 2009 to 13 May 2009

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