Collections on Stage: Exposing Cultural Diversity Pre-hispanic Art in Search of Lost Time

by Ms. Micaela Mikhy Neveu

HeritageForAll Heritage Intern (Call 2018) from Paris, France

Fig. 1 Salles préhispaniques du musée des Jacobins, Auch, France.
Fig. 2. Salles préhispaniques du musée des Jacobins, Auch, France.

In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly implemented a global day dedicated to cultural diversity for exchange and development for intercultural dialogue and peace. This initiative was in line with the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted in 2001 by UNESCO, which places culture at the heart of this project as a tool for sustainable development, prosperity and peace in the world. In 2015, the United Nations voted in favor of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Resolution on Culture and Sustainable Development, adopted by the General Assembly of the same year, in order to put in place the 17 objectives in building on the creative potential of the world’s diverse cultures and initiating a dialogue that promotes global sharing of sustainable development. The World Day of Cultural Diversity, which will take place on May 21 2019, crystallizes a way to promote culture in all its forms whether tangible or intangible[1].

With regard to the world of museums, the 2015 UNESCO Recommendation on the Promotion of Museums and Collections, their diversity and role in society, materialized the efforts of member States towards sustainable development as well, particularly through the preservation and protection of heritage, and the protection and promotion of cultural diversity. In the Recommendation, the term “collection” refers to a “set of natural and cultural objects, tangible and intangible, ancient and contemporary”, leaving each State to define what it means by “collection” in its own legal framework. The term “heritage” is defined as “a set of tangible and intangible values ​​and the expressions that people choose and designate, independently of property considerations, as reflecting the expression of their identities, beliefs, knowledge and traditions, as well as living environments that deserve to be protected and promoted by contemporary generations and passed on to future generations”. The Recommendation also provides, in cases where the museum represents collections of indigenous peoples, appropriate measures to encourage dialogue and the development of relations between museums and these populations, particularly with regard to the management of collections, but also their return and their restitution[2].

In the case of an exhibition of non-European arts, how does the museum represent such objects? How does one show cultural diversity in the exhibition today? Between marketing and Western vision, is not the museum stuck in a sterile aesthetic of “the other” museography? Subscribed to the old genre and the static museography of the 1930s, adopted by museums[3], continues to make its way as a model, both late for its time and evacuating contexts, as to better control the spaces and ideological, and even, political concepts. The question of the restitution of foreign objects to their country of origin goes hand in hand with the scenographic restitution of these objects in the very frame of the museum thus answering to the scientific and educational function of the museum guarantor of the correct transmission and mediation of the extra-European cultures.

Fig. 3. Exemple de scénographie pour la culture Moche du Pérou. Période ? Fonction ? Contexte d’utilisation ?

The construction of taste by the writing of space, according to the aesthetic criterion dear to Henri Focillon, perpetuates a tradition at the source of modern museography[4] which is, however, unsuited to the current challenges of the museum. We will see the example of the pre-Hispanic collections at the Jacobin Museum in Auch, France, the second museum after the Quai Branly J. Chirac in terms of pre-Hispanic art. Does the museum correctly reproduce the millennial cultures of ancient America or is it content with an aesthetic presentation?

What cultural diversity means

According to the UNESCO text, “cultural diversity can be defined as a principle of organizing a sustainable plurality, in and through societies”. It is a mechanism for organizing a dialogue, “as productive as possible”, between “relevant past and desirable future”. This diversity must benefit from the dialogue between societies, similar to that of globalization “based on the market economy benefiting from trade across borders”. “Cultural diversity would be a mechanism that ensures that creativity, dignity and tolerance are partners in establishing models of sustainable development”. Cultural diversity is considered a value that recognizes differences in human societies as components of systems and relationships. It forms an inexhaustible resource for strengthening links between cultural values ​​and material well-being. This diversity also has a link of sustainability with biodiversity because the land does not have an infinite capacity for regeneration and global stocks depend on the preservation of biodiversity and the care provided to it at all levels of government. It’s been established that there’s an “indivisibility of culture and development” supporting the capacities of aspiration, memory and empowerment; cultural diversity is an engine of development, of sustainability linked to the diversity of visions and cultural aspirations[5].

“Cultures of Aspiration” (UNESCO [6])

This consists of the indivisibility between culture and development based on the “aspiration capacity” integrated into a broader reflection on cultures of hope. UNESCO puts forward these dimensions of “human energy, creativity and solidarity” rooted in history, language and tradition, which help ordinary human beings to participate in the construction of their cultural future. The collective aspiration in relation to culture and development is an unprecedented conceptual framework proposed by UNESCO whose aspiration, as a collective resource, requires diverse cultural structures of creativity, imagination, tolerance, flexibility and living tradition. The aspiration capacity is a provision that we must create in order to consider the future of cultural diversity in societies. If cultural diversity is oppressed, if minorities are poorly treated, the breeding grounds of well-being and the foundation of cultural aspirations will be canceled. Indivisible culture and development are understood as democratic bases of advancement in a world aspiring for peace. A world without borders cannot have a cultural diversity circumscribed at national or local borders, but must be open to transnational dialogue. This dialogue crystallizes globalization in this way. Cultural past and cultural future are interdependent; thus, the capacities of hope and remembrance must be seen as joint abilities. Similarly, there is a close relationship between tangible and intangible heritage.

Links with tangible and intangible heritage and sustainability

UNESCO in its Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity states that the “tangible heritage” is a “component of the physical heritage of particular societies and of all humanity, which is characterized by places of high moral and religious resonance, artistic or historical ” such as (but not limited to) the landscape, a mountain, a river, highly elaborate objects, structures or physical systems. Such legacies may belong to small groups, entire nations, or humanity as a whole, although the limits of these forms of possession may be intensely debated in a world without watertight boundaries.” Tangible heritage is a kind of crystallized cultural value and cultural diversity is helping to build on this legacy.

“Intangible heritage”, on the other hand, is defined by UNESCO as a “map or compass” from which human beings interpret, select, reproduce or disseminate their cultural heritage as a whole. It is a tool for defining and expressing material heritage and from which the inert landscape of objects and monuments is transformed into a “living archive of cultural values”. Without tangible heritage, the intangible heritage would be too abstract, an “illegible series of objects or sites”. Intangible heritage must be conceived as a larger framework within which material heritage finds its form and meaning. This tool enables communities and societies to establish the archives of their relationship between cultural values ​​and valuable cultural goods. The UNESCO text draws attention to the fact that “cultural industries can sometimes be dangerous, delivering local populations to global consumption, diverting cultural values ​​into tourist shows, transforming cultural products into commodities regardless of the dignity of their producers.” This notion of tangible and intangible heritage goes hand in hand with sustainability, which can be defined as a “criterion of chances of long-term survival of any desirable human adventure”. It is the ability to replicate and revitalize essential human resources in the context of new forms of global market integration and new opportunities for intercultural dialogue. UNESCO insists that sustainability viewed from the perspective of cultural plurality cannot be dissociated from sustainability in economic development.

Collections are an instinct

The taste for the collection of objects appears very early in human history, stresses Edmond Couchot[7], the search for colored sensations, pleasure to the sight, to the touch or to the ear, the forms of the nature are concretized in the symbolic behavior of man. In homo sapiens, certain objects seem to limit themselves to stimulating visual and tactile perception without any precise meaning. The first of these objects are spotted from the discovery of figurative nonverbal thinking. They are of “unusual character”, says the professor, in relation to other objects, like artifacts: aligned series of marks engraved on long bones as a lunar calendar, or red ocher found in burials attached to the notion of sacred. “Curiosities” as anthropologists call them are crystals or fossils for example, which were voluntarily deposited after being picked up and then arranged and put away. They are the oldest manifestation of symbolic thought that has left a material trace. André Leroi-Gourhan sees in this gesture a quest for the natural fantasy and a quest for beauty as a mechanism of the mind: the aesthetic feeling. In the Mousterian men, a culture that stretched from 200,000 to 30,000 BC in Eurasia and the Near East, there are collection practices that includes the gathering of ocher, unusual fossils and rare minerals etc. These curiosities would have been related to magic or medicinal practices, to shamanism for example. These men would make a complete aesthetic experience, receptive and operative through the collection of objects that is a form of construction, a work intended to charm, impress or delight the viewer.

The birth of the museum, or the “invention” of it as described by Roland Schaer, has, as we know it, been revealed to the public through the centuries through different ways in Europe. Whether it was the cult of the Muses or the myth of the library of Alexandria that inspired the conceptualization of the “Mouseion” (museum) is not known for certain, however this, in turn, lead to the creation of a celebration known as the “Feast of the Mouseia” on the borders of Thessaly and Macedonia, which was practiced every 5 years, in Delphi and Athens. It is the notions of the assembly of sages that the Lycée of Aristotle, the Academy of Plato, and others alike, helped inspire the creation of the museum: the search for the truth. It was the circle of the assembly of the sages which inspired the architectural plan for the Greek theater, the place of theophany and expression of the Dionysus Passions. Thus, the museum stands between the forces of Dionysus and Apollo, sometimes classic sometimes baroque, but in connection with the arts including that of the theater. This theatricality imposes itself by the sets, it allows to build the context of the exhibition and to integrate the visitor in the tour.

Fig. 4. Mosaïque romaine retrouvée à Pompéi, représentant l’Académie de Platon, musée de Naples, Italie.

Baroque inspiration of the royal courts, the cabinets of curiosities, eclectic mix of objects of all kinds is a representation of the microcosm and power embodied by the space of the prince, then the princely galleries, the collections of Roman antiquities by courtiers, jurists, scientists or artists.

Fig. 5. La première représentation d’un cabinet de curiosités – Gravure de Ferrante Imperato s ‘ Dell’Historia Naturale (Naples 1599) – Crédit Wikimédia

The radical change appears with the advent of Enlightenment and the entrance of the museum into the era of the rational: the encyclopedic museum represents the project of the new man and his taste for positivism. In the nineteenth century, the romantic aesthetic reached the theaters and its style of decor: grandiloquent rhetoric, feeling and reconstruction through scenography, the museum is subject to a major reform in the first third of the twentieth century. For the first time, experts gather to talk about museography and it is the sacred, neutral, functional museum that is emerging. If the nineteenth century is the golden age of museums in Europe, it is a true phenomenon of society; architecture reminiscent of Greek temples, rotundas, natural light and concern for airy presentation. The twentieth century is characterized by a “museology of the rupture” (Jacques Hainard) that will bring the museum into the postmodern era; produced by a political will to democratize culture, competition from new media and the arrival of new technologies, the postmodern museum challenges History to bring stories. The last thirty years is characterized by an aesthetic of theatricality in the largest museums of the world in order to attract ever larger audiences. The exhibition, a real communication medium, is part of the process leading to the advent of artificial intelligences or augmented reality.

Fig. 6. « Histopad » : la réalité virtuelle au service du patrimoine.

But the History of museums is also linked to colonial issues, the construction of nations and identities, the construction of the gaze of others and the transformation of art and culture as a real act of power. In our time, the museum has become part of the social space, allowing it to spread its discourse, culture and arts through an ideology elaborated within its scientific program, notably exhibitions and mediation, whether they are permanent, temporary or itinerant. The “process of the musealization” of objects, that is to say, “the extraction of a physical or conceptual object from its original context giving it a new status”, (François Mairesse, 2011) operates in an obvious way, allowing it to be attributed to an “autonomous value” in relation to its place of production, and makes these objects “emancipated objects” of their cultural milieu. The places of presentation in exhibitions tend to reflect this observation in museography, which focuses on erasing all traces of context in favor of so-called “neutral” spaces. In this sense, the object presented without links to its contextual set is isolated, apart from, manipulated in an elaborated narrative, a narrative frame with a thematic written as the chapters of a book, with “its drama”, a progression and a conclusion, obeying an ideological discourse. These are interpretations to give a perception of the reality of a given culture to a given audience. Space itself is at the center of the semiotics of exhibitions, that is to say, space as such communicates a message about what is given to see[8]. It is about writing a history of culture through space and scenography, using objects whose identity is discarded in favor of the staged narrative.

Fig. 7. Scénographie minimaliste pour le projet « Les indiens des plaines », musée du quai Branly J. Chirac, 2014,

The contemporary exhibition is the subject of numerous studies on the various processes that generate it and which are at the source of its implementation in museums and well beyond its walls; selected themes ranging from sorting to the selection of art objects, from ordering to language, from discourse or synopsis to scenography, from neutrality to the theatricality of spaces of all kinds, from ideological politics to the use of cognitive sciences in the tours, the exhibition is a context of visual universes which encompasses all the senses, recreating the culture of a given era for the spectator of the present time. Pre-Hispanic art gives rise to exponentially decontextualized expo productions in which remarkable pieces are “musealized” at the mercy of a marketing force integrated into a system of ideas “manufactured by the museum entity”. Associated with prestige and exoticism, the pre-Hispanic collections allow to deploy a multisensory scenario able to produce in the perception of the visitor an “imaginal” (Henry Corbin) world, a kind of between-two-worlds culture, induced by the scenography. Immersion, interaction, communication, neutrality, sensory world: what are the current dynamics of the exhibition, what are the museum’s methods for transmitting cultural diversity? The exhibition is a “machine” to manufacture a “uni-cultural” perception at the expense of diversity as is often the case for the extra-European arts.

Fig. 8. Scénographie contextualisante, Musée del Jade, Costa Rica.

Beyond the controversy engendered by the dubious museography of the Quai Branly J. Chirac museum, divided between aesthetic scenography and neutral ethnographic scenography, the “sensationalist effect” of marketing “made in Quai Branly”, the trends in the museology of pre-Hispanic art and museum techniques associated with it, seem to crystallize a recurring style of “minimalist type”, “art gallery” or “clinic”, alternating white walls and picture rails of different colors, illuminated windows and specific objects isolated and aestheticized, “the star object”, or accumulated side by side like ordinary goods. Very little scenographic originality is dedicated to the world of the sacred, capital yet pre-Hispanic characteristic, and a clear lack of contextualization and even scientific methodology: confusion of chronological and geographical landmarks, meaning and role of objects, evacuation of the ritual field and dimension of the divine in the daily.

Often pre-Hispanic cultures are shown in unique sets as if they belonged to a single large group. The museum space and that of the collection deal with the identity of the museum and its mission: to transmit correctly. The museographic representative style of the pre-Hispanic is widely visible in the Pavillon des Sessions at the Louvre, antenna of quai Branly J. Chirac, whose scenography was created by Jean-Michel Wilmotte in favor of a modernist and minimalist aesthetic genre. This example completed the museological action currently underway in museums, that of a systematic decontextualization of non-European objects. In the Louvre, the very selection of objects for the collection made by Jacques Kerchache has aroused criticism, the exhibits having been chosen only for their aesthetic value.

Fig. 9. Scénographie minimaliste pour les arts préhispaniques au Pavillon des Sessions, Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Fig. 10. Scénographie minimaliste pour les arts préhispaniques au Pavillon des Sessions, Musée du Louvre, Paris.

Even though the musée du quai Branly J. Chirac, through its director Stéphane Martin, states “to show the objects from the point of view of the indigenous populations”, and to contextualize, this still remains to be demonstrated as all we see are these dark spaces and windows, as a scenography of the Museum[9]. Contextualization should not be limited to cartels and panels on the walls, some effects of music or marking on the ground. Where is the sacred dimension of the pre-Hispanic art without a proper scenography ?

Fig. 11. Scénographie du préhispanique au quai Branly J. C. : « montrer les objets du point de vue des populations autochtones ».
Fig. 12. Muséographie permanente du musée du quai Branly J. Chirac, Paris.

The example of the Jacobin Museum, France.

Pre-Hispanic art exhibited as cultural diversity in Auch

The Jacobins museum in Auch has the second largest pre-Hispanic art collection in France, second to the quai Branly-J. Chirac museum. Closed for work in April 2018, the museum will reopen its doors next spring unveiling its new museography. More than 500 objects were presented in the 5 rooms that were previously open to the public[10].

Fig. 13. Le musée des Jacobin à Auch, France.

The history of the collection dates back to Guillaume Pujos (1852-1921), art lover and adventurer, who settled in Chile in 1879, and soon he assembled a rich collection of pieces including Andean and Chilean ceramics, ethnographic objects from North America and sculptures of the sacred art of Latin America. In 1906, Pujos returned to France and became curator of the museum in 1911 where he exhibited the most beautiful works of his personal collection. When he died in 1921, all his gathered objects were bequeathed to the city of Auch to enrich American collections. Then, in the year 1948, the curator Henri Polge (1921-1978) began a new project for the museum by assembling collections from the American collections of the museums of Eyzies-de-Tayac and the museum of Annecy. 1200 objects in total are now the only collection in the region. The curator’s ambition was to respond to a scientific and cultural project that located the Auch museum just behind the Musée de l’Homme in Paris in terms of pre-Hispanic art collections. The acquisition of Saint Gregory’s Mass guided the Americanist inclination of the museum to complete this unprecedented dynamic.

Fig. 14. La Messe de Saint Grégoire, musée des Jacobins, Auch, France.

An Aztec feather painting made in Mexico in 1539, whose the exceptional work represents cultural cross-fertilization between Europe and the new continent. The painting is also the symbol of the struggle of the “Friars Minor”, protectors of the Indians, in front of the barbarism of colonization. Probably done under the Franciscan Pierre de Grand in thanks for the support of Pope Paul III for his support of his struggle to lead to the Bull Sublimis Deus prohibiting the enslavement of Native Americans. The long history of the enrichment of the collections was concretized during the last ten years by rich donations. Today the museum of the Jacobins has more than 10 000 objects ranging from Peru, Central America and Mesoamerica counting among them sets of goldsmiths and Andean textiles. Between 2005 and 2015, the museum has integrated itself into the history of the city. Many extra-European collections were formed and brought to France during the nineteenth century. Exhibited in an outdated encyclopaedic museography, the pieces were often kept in the reserves, and the context was lost for many of them. Pascal Monge listed more than half of the 22,000 archaeology items in the pre-Hispanic world. But how to study them, how to exhibit them? Often the presentations are reduced to showcases with objects representative of the exposed cultures. Apart from the quai Branly J. Chirac museum, the most important collections are in the National Archaeology Museum in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the Cité de la Céramique in Sèvres. In France, the main establishments with more than 400 objects are: the museum of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the Louis Philippe museum at the Château d’Eu, the museum of Rouen, the museum of the Nouveau Monde of La Rochelle, the Musée qu’Aquitaine in Bordeaux, the Perigord museum in Périgueux, the Toulouse museum, the Castre museum in Cannes, the Barcelonnette museum, the Museum of African, Oceanic and Amerindian art in Marseille and the museum Confluences in Lyon. The other museums gather only fifty pre-Hispanic pieces[11].

Scenography without context in the Jacobins Museum, Auch

Fig. 15. Salle Andine

The decor of the scenography chosen for the presentation of pre-Hispanic collections alternates different colored walls corresponding to “spaces” dedicated to the great cultures of ancient America; bright green, for the “Andean region” with narrative sequences, purple for the “Treasures of Peru” including various showcases with ornaments, ceramics and textiles, blue night for “Mexico”, orange for “Latin American sacred art” and the school of Quito, and finally turquoise blue for “Central America and Mesoamerica”. The furniture is simple; it consists of showcases illuminated with nuances showing a progressive staging with pedestals, sometimes some pyramid-like structure reminiscent of pre-Hispanic architecture, and classic cartels. On the walls are panels of mediations that locate historical, geographical and cultural contexts with a classification by culture. Each showcase indicates the culture concerned. In the Andean area, we find different cultures; in the first part, we begin with the presentation of Peru, proceeding with the founding cultures Paracas, Mochicas-Recuay, Vicús -Virú, Cupisnique-Chavín, Lambayeque, Chimú-Chancay, Inca and Tiahuanaco. A portrait of Guillaume Pujos is placed high between the prestigious Inca and Tiahuanaco cultures. Museography stages the collector and places it above the objects themselves. Then, the theme of architecture is evoked in a panel associated with a very brief explanation of the 4 cultures of Chavín, Mochica, Chimú and Inca.

Fig. 16. Salle Andine.
Fig. 17. Trésors du Pérou

The “Treasure Room of Peru” shows jewels, ceramics and Andean textiles in a luxurious atmosphere. There is a distinction between the 2 rooms and the notion of treasure is enhanced by dark red and soft lighting. The distinction of different cultures is barely underlined, and the showcases are responding to each other in scenographic nuances. The confusion is certain for the public especially for the chronology which is not sufficiently marked.

Fig. 18. Salle Trésors du Pérou.

For Peru, the chronology of cultures, according to the professor and archaeologist Daniel Lévine, poorly highlighted in this presentation, should show clearly that the emergence of the first ceremonial centers concern the culture of “Cupisnique” from 1200 to 200 BC, the culture of “Chavín” from 1200 to 200 BC, and “Paracas Cavernas” from 700 to 200 BC. Then, we witness the development of cultural regionalism with the first periods of regional cultures including among others the “Paracas Necropolis” cultures from 200 BC to 200 AD, “Nasca” from the beginning of our era to 650 AD, “Virú” from 200 BC to 300 AD, “Vicús” from 200 BC to 600 AD, “Mochica” from the beginning of our era to 800 AD and “Recuay” from the beginning of our era to 600 AD. The first Andean state was “Huari-Tiahuanaco”, formed between 600 and 1100 AD. The city-states and kingdoms begin to form in the second period of regional cultures including the kingdoms “Ica-Chincha” between 1100 and 1450 AD, “Chancay” between 1200 and 1450 AD, “Lambayeque” between 700 and 1375 AD, and “Chimú” between 1000 and 1460 AD. The Incan era lasted from 1200 to 1533 AD, within which the “imperial period” lasted from around 1438 to 1533 AD. These periods should be better explained by the staging of objects, procession of the tour and through lighting for example.

Fig. 19. Salle Trésors du Pérou
Fig. 20. Salle Mexico « Messe de Saint Grégoire ».
Fig. 21. Salle du Mexique

The “Mexico Room” covers the period from 1510 to 1539 AD and contains the Saint Gregory Mass which is the hallmark of the museum. The midnight blue refers to a religious atmosphere. It portrays the evangelization of Mexico, the struggle of the Franciscan brothers in defense of the Indians and an extract from the Bubble Sublimis Deus subtly illuminated by a golden lighting.

The rooms of Central America are in the deep color of the “Mayan blue” although the spaces are classified by different cultures and various regions of Mesoamerica as well; the culture “Gran Cocle” of the Pacific coast of Panama, the cultures “Gran Nicoya and Gran Chiriquí” from the Pacific coast of Costa Rica; the culture of Teotihuacan in central Mexico, the “Zapotec” culture from the Oaxaca region, the “Huaxtec” culture of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and for Mesoamerica; the Mayan culture of the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala and Belize, the “Chupícuaro” culture found in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico, the “Western cultures” of the state of Nayarit, the “Totonac” culture of the central coast of the Gulf, and the Aztec culture from Central Mexico. We also find a South American culture on this list, namely the “Marajo” culture which originates on an island at the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. All these different cultures are exhibited without any scenic distinction, reminiscent of unified ensembles of the same period. However, the chronologies are vast and should be dissociated by a clearer presentation.

Fig. 22. Salle “Mexique”.

Although the scenography of the tour of pre-Hispanic collections in the museum tries to contextualize these objects by cartels and panels of mediation, note that museography here involves only simple traditional elements, such as showcases, pedestals, cartels, headlines, sometimes isolated objects, accumulated objects sorted by genre, by culture, by region, an adapted light which stages the exhibitions by consistently sublimating only a handful of the objects. The different colors of the walls symbolically represent a change of scenery or evoke a luxurious or solemn world. The chronologies are not highlighted and the viewer does not know from the outset by the headlines inscribed on the showcases at what time these cultures flourished, and very few chronological references are given to him which makes comparing the items difficult. The cultural mediation of the museum of the America section does not contextualize the universe of the emergence of these cultures enough, in particular in the field of architecture where its sacred dimension could be transcribed more explicitly by an evocation with images of temples, pyramids or palaces. The museography seems to be better contextualized in the section “Popular Arts and Traditions” with the use of immersive and partially staged sets.

The new Jacobins museum will re-open in 2019 and let’s hope it will re-contextualize the presentation of its exhibitions with the objective of transmitting its messages in a more scientific and rigorous way, sharing the knowledge of complex cultures, otherwise difficult to apprehend for the public of “non-initiés”. The promotion of cultural diversity also involves scientific research programs, studying the collections and archives, working on the inventory and history of these collections in order to transcribe in 3D, and through scenography and context, put these distant civilizations in their original setting. The perspective of non-European cultures in the context of the museum and its exhibitions will have to consider the essence of its cultures; otherwise they will remain an aesthetic museography without scientific value, an expression of cultural counterfeiting. It is through the in-situ restitution and contextualization, that the valorization of the cultural diversity can become a reality. Le Domaine de Chantilly presents the private apartments of the Duke and Duchess of Aumale after restoration, inviting the visitor to an immersion in the atmosphere of its time. It only remains to apply this method for the non-European arts …

Fig. 23. Period Room, Salon de Condé après restauration, Domaine de Chantilly, France, photographie Sophie Lloyd.

[1] AZOULEY Audrey, « message de la directrice générale », voir le site de l’UNESCO :

[2] Voir le texte de la Recommandation de 2015 sur la protection des musées et des collections, site de l’UNESCO :

[3] Conférence de Madrid organisée par l’Office International des Musées, en 1934. Voir, Muséographie, Architecture et aménagement des musées d’art. Conférence internationale d’études, Madrid, 1934, Volume 1 & 2, Société des Nations, OIM, 1935.

[4] MEYER A., SAVOY B., The Museum Is Open: Towards a Transnational History of Museums 1750-1940, W. De Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/ Boston, 2014, p. 95.

[5] Déclaration universelle sur la diversité culturelle, Série diversité culturelle n°1, août-septembre, 2002, UNESCO.

[6] Déclaration universelle sur la diversité culturelle, Série diversité culturelle n°1, août-septembre, 2002, UNESCO.

[7] COUCHOT Edmond, La nature de l’art : ce que les sciences cognitives nous révèlent sur le plaisir esthétique, Paris, Hermann éditeurs, 2012, p. 149.

[8] DAVALLON Jean, « Le pouvoir sémiotique de l’espace. Vers une nouvelle conception de l’exposition ?», Hermès, La Revue 3/2011 (n° 61), p. 38-44 URL :

[9] JADÉ Marianne, « Scénographie et multimédia dans les projets du musée quai Branly J. Chirac, monographie de muséologie sous la direction de Xavier PERROT, École du Louvre, 2002.

[10] Voir le site du musée :

[11] FERRER-JOLY Fabien, « Le musée des Jacobins d’Auch. Vers la création d’un Pôle national de référence », Les nouvelles de l’archéologie [En ligne], 147 | 2017, mis en ligne le 18 décembre 2017, consulté le 21 février 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/nda.3756


  • AZOULEY A., « message de la directrice générale », voir le site de l’UNESCO :
  • COUCHOT E., La nature de l’art : ce que les sciences cognitives nous révèlent sur le plaisir esthétique (2012), Paris : Hermann éditeurs, p. 149
  • DAVALLON J. (2011), « Le pouvoir sémiotique de l’espace. Vers une nouvelle conception de l’exposition ?», Hermès, La Revue 3/2011 (n° 61), p. 38-44 URL :
  • Déclaration universelle sur la diversité culturelle, Série diversité culturelle n°1, août-septembre, (2002) : UNESCO.
  • FERRER-JOLY F. (2017), « Le musée des Jacobins d’Auch. Vers la création d’un Pôle national de référence », Les nouvelles de l’archéologie [En ligne], 147 | 2017, mis en ligne le 18 décembre 2017, consulté le 21 février 2019. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/nda.3756
  • JADÉ M. (2002), « Scénographie et multimédia dans les projets du musée quai Branly J. Chirac, monographie de muséologie sous la direction de Xavier PERROT, École du Louvre, Paris.
  • Muséographie, Architecture et aménagement des musées d’art. Conférence internationale d’études, Madrid, 1934, V. 1 & 2, Société des Nations, OIM, 1935.
  • Recommandation de 2015 sur la protection des musées et des collections, site de l’UNESCO :

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