As Pope Beno t XVI, Monday, February 11, H??l??ne David-Weill, President, for eighteen years of Museums? decorative arts – which include the Museum of Decorative Arts, the library, and workshops du Carrousel, installed in the wings of Rohan and Marsan of the Louvre, but also the Mus??e Nissim de Camondo and Camondos School, specializing in training design and interior architecture – chose to resign.
Your first step in 1994, as president of the Museum of Decorative Arts, was close to work. It was a gamble?
It was close all redo everything at once. We could not settle for cosmetic procedures. It took to the nave – which was blocked – its original splendor, open up everywhere, and rethink the path of collections … We had to give a setting for measuring hidden treasures this institution: collections of dazzling wealth, Camondos School of Interior Design where exited Philippe Starck and Wilmotte, an art library open to the public with 8000 volumes …
At the time, there was little money, how did you do?
I took my stick pilgrim. On each occasion, between New York and Paris, I boasted the merits and beauty of these objects, fruits of the labor of man. Foreigners are very attentive. For many of them, the decorative arts, it is the spirit of Paris, it is the expression of a culture of refinement. I think, like them, a turned wood, a piece of carved ivory can be as beautiful as a painting. Decorative Arts is the only art that focuses on daily life, and which combines the search for beauty in useful.
The Noailles are considered the last great French patrons? Ais, as evidenced by the exhibition is devoted to them until February 28, at the Villa Noailles in Hy??res. What is he now?
When I decided to close the museum from 1996 to 2006, there was very little money. I am still moved and amazed as I found real patrons among foreigners, to whom I sold the idea of ??a museum of decorative arts worthy of the name in Paris. The International Committee came after, to thank them and their loyalty. The Rothschild family or my husband, the David-Weill, also helped us. It is true that individual philanthropists, like them, are rare. Although s? R, we have companies that finance such as object or renovation for their communication. But the real patrons are an endangered species? Too imp ts, the crisis, whatnot … !
Do you have any aesthetic preferences?
For me, France had two miraculous centuries: the eighteenth century with a sense inou? balance – neither too much nor too little, as a reluctance of excess – and the 1930s with a new sense of rigor and excellence in the choice of materials. Formerly, talents all came to Paris, the City of Lights. Now they are everywhere on the planet.
This is why it is important to preserve and pass on what we have better. The fact that Chanel has bought plumassier, shoemaker and other embroiderers is a good thing. I feel like a new beauty, refinement from our contemporaries. Decorative Arts, which was a time resurrect obsolete. They appeal to a growing number of students. Create, own or admire a beautiful object, it is already a step towards happiness.
See also: Article by Harry Bellet and V??ronique Lorelle on the appointment of Jean-Jacques Aillagon head of decorative arts (in subscribers edition).
Decorative Arts on the Internet: www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr.