Quai Branly (Museum)

Musée of African, Asian, Australasian and American art and culture (2006) / Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has agreed to allow the Women of Orient exhibition, which has been described as a “true hymn”, to take place under her high patronage. The exhibition, put together by Christian Lacroix, is held at the quai Branly Museum from February 8 to May 15, 2011.

The quai Branly museum was inaugurated by Président Chirac in 2006. This flagship museum designed by architect Jean Nouvel, occupying 40,600 m2 and spread over four buildings is now home to the former ethnology collections from the Museum of Mankind and the National Museum of African and Oceanian Arts, previously on display in the Palais de Chaillot and at the Porte Dorée. The Quai Branly museum collection boasts over 3 500 objects representing the cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas: non-Western cultures to which the museum pays tribute in an experience encompassing 3,500 objects in the permanent collections, ten temporary collections a year, and live performances, conferences, scientific symposia, workshops, guided tours and more.

From 8 February to 15 May 2011, fashion designer Christian Lacroix revisits 150 traditional costumes and outfits from the Near East for this exhibition. The 600 m2 exhibition explores the sartorial angle to offer a new perspective on what has long been the economic and cultural crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa: Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt… Hana Chidiac, the exhibition curator and responsible for the North Africa and Near East Heritage section at the quai Branly museum, explains : “This exhibition is an invitation to discover the way in which women dress, a way of being, a way of life. It is meant as a hymn to womankind, a tribute to all those who down the centuries have sought to create fashions and beautify women in societies which have long marginalised them. And finally to those whose hands and gestures, tastes and talents have imbued fabrics and silk or cotton thread with something of themselves, turning each individual piece into a work of art.”