Christian Lacroix Revamps Paris Museum

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The Cognacq-Jay Museum in Paris, dedicated to 18th-century arts, called upon French fashion designer Christian Lacroix to make over a select number of galleries in the name of renovation. Lacroix agreed to work on the artsy face-lift while staying loyal to his creative origins, costume design. (The designer, who lost his fashion house in 2009, now works on theatrical costumes.)

For this project, Lacroix used theatrical, scenic, and comedic inspirations to bring to life the 18th-century pantheon of art. He chose 40 contemporary artists whose works contrasted nicely with the museum’s permanent collection.

Lacroix has also installed one of his costumes, custom-made for the opera Adrienne Lecouvreur; a flashy sculpture by Bernard Quesniaux; and porcelain statues by Meissen. In one gallery, he juxtaposes a 1776 portrait of Louis-Antoine de Bourbon, the duke d’Angoulême, with a contemporary photograph of a young girl by Véronique Ellena.

The museum had not changed its interior design or gallery decor since opening its doors in 1990 at the Donon Hotel in the Marais. Museum director Rose-Marie Mousseaux finally insisted that the space needed to be catapulted into the 21st century.

The carpets and wall ornamentation will be signed Christian Lacroix.

Lacroix’s design renovations will remain a permanent part of museum, but the special exhibition “Lumières : carte blanche à Christian Lacroix” runs through April 19.

For more artnet News stories about art and fashion, see Pierre Cardin Opens Museum in Paris and Fashion Blogger Matches Her Outfits to Artworks.

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