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Musée du Quai Branly
Press Newsletter – May to August 2017
23/05/17 – 01/10/17
East Mezzanine

The exhibition, designed by the New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Museum, showcases this museum’s very rich collections of jade. This precious stone – pounamu in the Maori language – is only found on New Zealand’s South Island, Te Wai Pounamu (“Waters of the Green Stone”).

The exhibition explores the links that exist between this stone with magical properties and the Maori people, and presents visitors with the stories and legends linked to the objects in this section. Covering several centuries, the exhibition presents sculptures and small objects, all of jade, whether they are the 200 very rare taonga (treasures) – of which one collection of 96 hei tiki, 20 mere and 4 “stones to touch” – or everyday but nonetheless precious objects.

These objects, handed down from generation to generation, have become inseparable from the mana – supernatural power or strength, inherited from divinities or ancestral spirits, which are transmitted to men through a genealogical link – of their owner. The exhibition finishes with a presentation of more contemporary works in jade, proof both of the persistence of the Maori techniques and the symbolic fascination of jade.

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Until 23/07/17
Garden Gallery

The major exhibition of spring 2017, in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso – Paris, the exhibition PICASSO PRIMITIF presents an entirely unprecedented view of the relationship between Picasso and the arts of Africa, Oceania, the Americas and Asia.

Designed by Yves Le Fur – Director of the Department of Heritage and Collections, musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, and a specialist in primitive arts –, the exhibition gives an entirely new insight into Picasso’s works, not by searching for proof of their inspiration as has been the case in the past, but rather by drawing the artist’s creative environment, then comparing his work of creators of primitive art.

As such, an initial immersive background section retraces, like a chronological record, all of the stages of Picasso’s links to non-Western arts, far beyond the period during which he created The Young Ladies of Avignon in 1906-1907, and throughout his life, as shown by his collection. Documents, letters, objects and photographs outline a precise chronology of what the artist admired, the circles of dealers and collectors with whom he rubbed shoulders, the exhibitions he visited and those to which he lent his own works.

In the form of a stand-off, the exhibition creates a dialogue between the extraordinary wealth of Picasso’s works and the no less rich works of non-Western artists. The permanent presence of works from across the world in his various studios demonstrates the extent to which, sometimes through their hidden company, the artist constantly maintained a dialogue with these, as part of an exchange based on admiration and respect.

This second approach, which occupies le largest part of the exhibition spatially, is based more on anthropology of art than the observation of aesthetic relations. It is divided in 3 sections – Archetypes, Metamorphoses and ID – which present the universal themes to which Pablo Picasso provided a response in his artistic creations that coincides with those of primitive artists.

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Figure gigantesque à Izamal au sud de la pyramide (détail), Amérique du Nord.Tirage sur papier albuminé, 29 x 40.5 cm © Charnay, Claude-Joseph-Désiré © musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
20/06/17 – 08/10/17
Atelier Martine Aublet

AZTEC HOTEL is an exhibition about the love for jungle ruins, specifically those of the Mayan civilization. The magnificent quality of their architecture and the mystery of the disappearance of their makers excited man’s imagination.

At the beginning of the 20th century, America had a brief but intense love affair with Mayan culture. Some Americans dressed like Mayans, danced Mayan dances, and lived in modern Mayan temples. A Century earlier, adventurer archeologists had fallen under the spell of the lost cities of the Maya, devoting their lives, their health and wealth to their study. They lived among their ruins, dug for artifacts, and documented the temples for the world to marvel at.

None of the expressions of Mayan, Aztec and Inca culture displayed in the exhibition AZTEC HOTEL could be called historically correct, but their creative and artistic spirit bears witness to the power of inspiration of all world art.

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Harrison Kennedy / Jean-Jacques Milteau / Vincent Segal
Thursday 18/05, 8 pm; Saturday 20/05, 8 pm; Sunday 21/05/17, 5 pm
Claude Lévi-Strauss Theatre

Harrison Kennedy owes his Canadian nationality to ancestors who fled from the southern plantations where they were slaves. From this heritage, he retains a deep respect for his Mississippi and Tennessee roots. Together with Jean-Jacques Milteau, a master of the harmonica, and Vincent Segal, who has played his cello all over the world, this highly talented bluesman, who made his name during the glory days of soul, offers a series of celebratory explorations of the world of acoustic blues.

Respectful of the past, without overloading the nostalgia, caring about tradition but conscious of the issues of today, interested in new marriages of sound that their coming together brings (Harrison’s voice, banjo, spoons and the mandolin roots, Jean- Jacques’ imaginative harmonicas and Vincent’s lyrical cello), they pool their formidable capacity to invent in order to sketch out a future with a blue note.

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Until Monday 04/09/17
The Field Museum, Chicago (U.S.A)

The exhibition TATTOO began its international tour at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, after being presented with great success at the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (2014-2015), where more than 700.000 visitors were able to discover the artistic dimension of tattoos, as well as their history through all cultures since the first evidence of their existence. TATTOO pursues its international tour at the Field Museum of Chicago.

In the so-called “primitive” societies of the East, Africa and Oceania, tattooing has a social, religious and mystical role, and is part of an individual’s rites of passage, including them in the community. Conversely, in the West, it was once a mark of disgrace, criminality or was a circus attraction (a sideshow phenomenon), later becoming an identifying mark for urban tribes. By bringing together at the Field Museum over 180 historical and contemporary artworks from around the globe, the exhibition explores the world of tattoos, and presents a totally new approach to this ancestral practice by examining the sources and renewal of this now permanent and globalised phenomenon.

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Women’s jewellery and adornment in the Arab world
Until Monday 29/01/18
quai Branly*Tokyo (Japan)

Rich or poor, in the towns or the countryside, Oriental women liked to adorn themselves with jewellery. They adorned their heads gracefully, bedecked their ears, decorated their chests, and encircled their arms and their ankles. This passion for such precious ornaments goes back to Antiquity, and is confirmed by numerous archaeological excavations on sites in the Near East and the Maghreb, each of which in their time have yielded up a plethora of jewellery, beautifully worked using a variety of techniques. Others, like the caravan city of Palmyra in Syria, have revealed sculptures of women richly adorned with a profusion of jewels.

There is a wealth of oriental jewellery: diadems, jewellery worn on the temples, earrings, necklaces, fibulas, bracelets and ankle rings. Major festivals and weddings in particular, were the opportunities for women to display all their jewellery.

Worn on the clothes, on the body, and sometimes even on the face, these gold pieces were more than just simple objects intended to embellish the wearer. They were tangible signs of one’s social allegiance and place in society. Jewels were endowed with magic properties depending on their form or material. The various elements that composed them – hand, fish, triangle, serpent, and crescent, blue or red pearl – protected the woman from all evil, promoted happiness, and above all protected against the evil eye, a common belief in the Mediterranean.

Women’s love of jewellery was also linked to the security that it gave them. It provided a safe investment that enabled them to face many eventualities. Given to them by their husbands as a dowry, they remained the woman’s own property, even in cases of divorce.

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For its 40th anniversary, the musée Barbier-Mueller is honoured at musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac throughout the year. Artworks lent by the Geneva-based institution are presented in L’AFRIQUE DES ROUTES (from April 3rd until July 30th 2017) and in LES FORÊTS NATALES. Arts de l’Afrique équatoriale atlantique (from October 3rd until January 28th 2018).

Moreover, to celebrate this anniversary, from March 20th to June 18th 2017, musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac will present in the hall two masks from New Ireland, belonging to Mr. Jean-Paul Barbier-Mueller.

Lastly, artworks from Monique and Jean-Paul Barbier-Mueller – who passed away, last December – can be seen on the Plateau des Collections, in the African, Asian and Oceanian sections, thanks to their donation to National French collections few years ago.

Barbier-Mueller collection from Nigeria and Indonesia are now part of Musées de France collections, such as the Indonesian jewelry and fabrics from Nagaland. These donations enriched the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and Louvre Pavillon des Sessions’ collections.

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visuel statue
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