Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière Gallery

 A new permanent exhibition space at the quai Branly

The Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière Gallery was designed by Jean Nouvel, winner of the Pritzker award in 2008 and the man behind the unique architecture of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac: what is solid seems to disappear to make way for the emotional response to a work of art.

An extension of the initial architectural project

“I wanted the museum to be architectural both inside and out, so that the spaces are in perfect harmony with the works”: quoted verbatim in the design of the Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière Gallery, Jean Nouvel sums up in just a few words the ambition that inspired him when designing the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac. The ‘challenge’ of creating this new gallery has been successfully met. “The space is well arranged in relation to the echo the building provides to the works, African for the most part here”. An echo that embodies “an interplay of light, references to nature, and vibrations”. Remaining faithful to the initial architectural project which also takes on new meaning for another reason: begun in 2003, the Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière collection is closely linked to the creation of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.

Works that feel at home

According to Jean Nouvel, what characterises great works of art is their "aura”. “They have a magnetism, they are enticing and mysterious”. And, he says, what characterises a museum “in its fullest sense” is that “the works feel at home”. Yet the need to protect the works often results in them being “cut off from the viewer” these days. Hence his overriding obligation to ensure that the visitors viewing these objects feel “that the protection is more an enhancement, that it is determined by the work”. The result? We feel a “slight discord” when moving around the work. The display case is “ultra defined” yet appears paradoxically “less defined, slightly ambiguous”. “We feel this distortion and search for the echo between this form and the stance of the statue, its profile or certain traits”.

Discover the works


Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière amassed a collection of works from Africa and Oceania of exceptional scope and quality.

> Discover the project



Filmed testimonies, cartographic and historical references, details on the provenance of the works and in-depth contextual information.

> Discover the collection


Elsewhere at the museum

Main Collections Level

The permanent exhibition at the musée du quai Branly houses some 3,500 works divided into geographic areas: Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The route follows a central walkway designed to resemble a river, illustrating both the uniqueness of each civilisation and their contacts. 

> Find out more