Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Centre Pompidou

The Paris-based Centre Pompidou serves as a platform for exchanges between society and contemporary creation. A popular venue designed for the entire French populace, the Centre Pompidou closely follows the world of contemporary design and establishes links with a number of artists, particularly those on the French scene.

In response to these challenges, the cultural programme of the Centre Pompidou has been designed around three dimensions (exposition of the history of art, multidisciplinary thematic exhibitions and monographs of contemporary designers) and a new multidisciplinary vision.

The institution not only has a presence in Paris and Ile-de-France, but seeks to develop its activity countrywide with a firm commitment to cultural decentralization. Furthermore, because it is tasked with maintaining and developing a national collection of modern and contemporary art, it is committed to honouring this heritage role as part of its essential mission, thus playing an active part in the study and popularisation of the history of art – one of the main tasks of MNAM.

The Centre Pompidou was inaugurated on 31 January 1977. Since its opening to the public on 2 February, 1977, it has proved a huge success, far exceeding expectations. It quickly became one of the world's most popular cultural venues and one of the most visited monuments in France. The late 70s and 80s saw the Centre offer exhibitions that became legends in their time, such as the "Paris." series ("Paris-New York", "Paris-Berlin", "Paris-Moscow", "Paris Paris"),"Vienna, birth of a century", "The Immaterials","Memories of the Future", "Maps and Figures of Earth", "Magicians of the Earth". Under the leadership of its directors, Pontus Hulten and Dominique Bozo, the MNAM collection grew considerably and became a world leader in the field of modern and contemporary art.

Following a comprehensive reform of the Centre Pompidou's organization with the creation in particular of the Department of Cultural Development (DDC), encompassing live performances, film and the spoken word, the merger of MNAM and CCI led to the creation of an architecture and design collection which in twenty years would become one of the most remarkable in the world.

After twenty years of activity and after having welcomed over 150 million visitors, the Centre Pompidou underwent extensive renovation work at the initiative of then President Jean-Jacques Aillagon. The state allocated resources to create the additional space required for the presentation of collections and development of the performing arts.

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