Donatien Grau. Living Museums

Conversations with Leading Museum Directors

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Donatien Grau. Living Museums
Conversations with Leading Museum Directors

Ed. Donatien Grau, text(s) by Irina Antonova, Alan Bowness, Timothy Clifford, Mark Jones, Michel Laclotte, Henri Loyrette, Philippe de Montebello, Peter-Klaus Schuster, Wilfried Seipel, graphic design by Neil Holt


2020. 320 pp.,


12.00 x 19.00 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4753-0

Between a Temple of Art and a Big Event

We think art museums have been here forever. And yet they change all the time, notably thanks to the individuals who lead them. For this impressive inquiry, Donatien Grau travelled to Williamstown, New York, Vienna, Oxford, Ampthill, Moscow, Berlin, London, to speak to the people who made the world of museums from the 1960s to the 2000s. Read how the Louvre had its first director from its first director; how the Guggenheim Bilbao was invented from the man who invented it; how Cellini’s Saliera was retrieved after having been stolen from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, by the man who retrieved it; how the Pushkin lived through the ages by its Director for fifty years. Read how museums across the Western world became what they are today: places for world-audiences, political forums, as much as places for the contemplation of art.

Interviews with MICHEL LACLOTTE, Director of the Louvre, Paris, 1987– 1995; SIR ALAN BOWNESS, Director of the Tate, London, 1980–1988; SIR TIMOTHY CLIFFORD, Director of the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1984–2006; PHILIPPE DE MONTEBELLO, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1977–2009; IRINA ANTONOVA, Director of the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, 1961–2013; PETER-KLAUS SCHUSTER, General Director of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 1998– 2008; SIR MARK JONES, Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2001–2011; TOM KRENS, Director of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Venice, and Bilbao, 1988–2008; WILFRIED SEIPEL, General Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1998–2008; HENRI LOYRETTE, Director of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris (1994–2001), and the Louvre, Paris (2001–2013).

DONATIEN GRAU (*1987) is a critic, scholar, and museum executive. He was selected by Apollo Magazine as one of the “Forty under Forty Europe” in 2014 and currently serve as the musée d’Orsay’s head of contemporary programs.

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