I’m not sure I’ve ever before seen a press release that uses the term savoir-faire (“capacity for appropriate action; especially: a polished sureness in social behavior“). But indeed, “French savoir-faire” is one of the focuses of the newly announced LA MAISON LVMH / Arts – Talents – Patrimoine. Yes, it’s a mouthful, and the announcement is careful not to describe it as a museum, but as a “cultural institution.”
LVMH, as you may know, is Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, and it was LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, along with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who made the announcement this week, with French President François Hollande in attendance.
The new center, which is expected to open in 2020, will be located in the former Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires (National Museum of Folk Arts and Traditions) in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The 1970s-era building, designed by architect Jean Dubuisson, a student of Le Corbusier and winner of the Prix de Rome for architecture, will be renovated by Frank Gehry, along with the original architect’s grandson, Thomas Dubuisson.
Calling the new institution “a melting pot of creativity,” Arnault explained that it would foster exchanges between artists, craftspeople and vocational trainees, all in a significantly expanded facility. When completed, it will have exhibition space for large artwork, a 2000-4000 seat concert hall, an academy of fine arts, artist workshops, and a restaurant overlooking Paris.
The “House of LVMH” will help “the city of Paris further strengthen its appeal and attractiveness,” according to Hollande, and will also encourage the continuance of the artistry and fine craft that is an essential part of luxury goods.
I’m putting it on my “keep an eye on this” list.