International Symposium

Keys to a passion


Friday 12 and Saturday 13 June 2015


© The Museum of Modern Art, New-York © Adagp, Paris 2015 pour l'oeuvre de Constantin Brancusi, © Collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, pour l'oeuvre de Piet Mondrian, © The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko - Adagp, Paris, 2015 pour l'oeuvre de Mark Rothko. Photo Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Argyroglo

In line with the exhibition Les Clefs d'une passion (Keys to a Passion), the Fondation Louis Vuitton organized an international symposium on June 12th-13th, 2015, on challenges shared by many museums and institutions: What are the challenges facing public and private museum collections today? Who makes art history now? What is the impact of the growing part played by the art market in this field?

For the last 15 years, the art world has seen a profound transformation characterized by the global increase of public and private institutions, the proliferation of biennials and fairs, inflation of the market value of contemporary works, and intensified media coverage that are upending the usual processes of forecasting and evaluation. The stakes raised by this new reality are considerable for artists, museums and foundations, collectors, historians and the public itself.


Friday June 12th, 2015 - 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

What are the challenges facing public and private museum collections today?

This session has examined the significance and missions of contemporary art collections at a time when the multiplication of initiatives is leading to an unprecedented diversification and expansion of the modes of distribution. What are the guiding principles, within various contexts, for the development of collections as narratives of our time? What is the impact of sociological, media, and economic conditions on their composition?

With: Bernard Blistène (Director, Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris) ; Hervé Chandès (General Director, Fondation Cartier, Paris) ; Chris Dercon (Director, Tate Modern, London) ; Nancy Spector (Chief Curator, Deputy Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York) and Philippe Vergne (Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, MoCA, Los Angeles).

Moderator: Alain Cueff (Art historian, Professor at l’Ecole supérieure nationale des Arts Décoratifs, ENSAD, Paris).


Saturday June 13th, 2015 - 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM

Who really makes art history now ?

This session has explored the various roles of professionals (art historians, museum curators, art critics, collectors, experts) in the assessment of works in the short, medium and long term. It will open a debate on the instruction and diffusion of aesthetic judgment and taste; current and emerging standards of evaluation; and a work's cultural value and iconicity.

With: Hoor Al Qasimi (Director, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah); Tobia Bezzola (Director, Folkwang Museum, Essen); Patricia Falguières (Art Historian, Professor at l'Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, EHESS, Paris); Mark Francis (Art Historian and Director, Gagosian gallery, London) ; Bertrand Lavier (Artist, France) ; Joachim Pissaro (Art Historian, Director, Hunter College Galleries, New York) and Donna de Salvo (Chief Curator, Deputy Director  of Programs, Whitney Museum, New York).

Moderator: Jean-Pierre Criqui (Art Historian and Critic ; editor-in-chief of Les Cahiers du Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris).


Saturday June 13th, 2015 - 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM

What is the impact of the growing part played by the art market in this field?

This session has dedicated to the effects of the recently burgeoning art market: multinational galleries, spectacular auctions, and museum collections, as well as the emergence of new art scenes, particularly in the Middle East and Asia. This global expansion is obviously not without consequences in the world of art and prompts us to consider these new factors.

With: Judith Benhamou-Huet (Journalist specialized in Art and Art Market, Curator); Francesco Bonami (Curator, Honorary Director, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo,Torino); Guillaume Cerutti (Deputy Chairman Europe and Chief Executive Officer Sotheby's France, Paris);Jennifer Flay (Artistic Director, Foire internationale d’art contemporain, FIAC, Paris);Philip Tinari (Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, UCCA, Beijing) and Sarah Thornton (Journalist, Writer and Sociologist of culture, San Francisco).

Moderator: Harry Bellet (Journalist for Le Monde newspaper, Paris).

Dates and booking

1st session - June 12, 2015 3 p.m to 6 p.m

2nd session - June 13, 2015 10 a.m to 1 p.m

3rd session - June 13, 2015 3 p.m to 6 p.m