The success of the LVMH group relies on a strategy that combines timelessness with extreme modernity in the creation of its products. I hope that this same spirit will drive the Fondation.
In 2006, at the behest of Bernard Arnault, the LVMH group created the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Designed by the American architect Frank Gehry, it falls within the policy of art and culture patronage developed by the Group over the last twenty years.
A private cultural initiative, the Fondation Louis Vuitton's aim is to promote and support contemporary artistic creation for a wide French and international audience.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton opens an exciting new cultural chapter for Paris. It brings the city a new space devoted to art — especially contemporary art — and above all a place for meaningful exchanges between artists and visitors from Paris, from France, and from the entire world. By encouraging spontaneous dialogue, the new Fondation seeks to inspire both emotion and contemplation.
This is a distinctive cultural initiative because the Fondation is private. It has been made possible thanks to the corporate patronage of LVMH and the Group’s companies, notably Louis Vuitton, reflecting the values shared by all the people of LVMH and its shareholders.
The Fondation tran-scends the ephemeral present by creating optimistic momentum and embodying a passion for artistic freedom. It is very much a dream come true.
Rooted in the history of artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries, the collection and programme offer a series of projects intended to:
- Promote creation in the present by adopting a position of openness and dialogue with artists, intellectuals and the public.
- Astound visitors by offering a multifaceted activity that informs, exhibits and showcases the works of the 20th and 21st centuries in an exceptional space.
- Move and surprise the public by exhibiting artists' work in an innovative building, a model of emblematic architecture designed by Frank Gehry.
A new space that opens up a dialogue with a wider public and provides artists and intellectuals with a platform for debate and reflection.
2001 – Bernard Arnault meets Frank Gehry after visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The idea of collaborating on the Fondation Louis Vuitton project is launched.
October 2006 – In the presence of Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, Minister for Culture and Communication, Bertrand Delanoë, Mayor of Paris, and Frank Gehry, the project's architect, Bernard Arnault, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the LVMH group, and Yves Carcelle, Chairman of Louis Vuitton, officially announce the creation of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
December 2006 – By an agreement reached with the City of Paris in December 2006 granting occupancy of public land, the Fondation Louis Vuitton obtains a 55-year lease for a plot of 1 hectare on which to construct a building dedicated to art and creation.
August 2007 – Building permission is granted.
March 2008 – Construction begins with earthwork and diaphragm walls.
2010 –The model of the Fondation Louis Vuitton is exhibited at the Centre Pompidou Metz during its opening exhibition entitled "Chefs-d’œuvre?" in the architecture section.
2011 – End of structural works and installation of the iceberg's metallic framework.
2012 – Installation of the iceberg's shells, the Ductal then the glass sails.
2013 – "the laying of the last stone".
28 February 2014 – Building reception.
Spring 2014 – Final landscaping of the Fondation's surroundings.
27 October 2014 – Public opening.
From left to right: Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, Bertrand Delanoë, Frank Gehry, Bernard Arnault, Yves Carcelle.
Frank Gehry in front of the 1:50 scale model of the Fondation
December 2013: the construction of the Fondation comes to an end.