Art market Magazine April 2013

 
THE MAGAZINE 
 
DISCOVERY 
 
Musée d’Ennery a woman's…
THE MAGAZINE

DISCOVERY

Musée d’Ennery a woman's work
t the end of the 19th century, Clémence d’Ennery devised the magnificent project of a collection dedicated to the arts
of China, and above all of Japan. She constantly added to it, eventually devoting a wing to it in her private mansion in Avenue Foch, in Paris, for which she also designed the museography. In 1894, probably influenced by her friend Georges Clémenceau, another enthusiastic art lover, she

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decided to donate her collection to the State together with her mansion, which has since been converted into a museum. Two women have dedicated themselves to the collection of this art lover, whom neither of them met. Born in 1924, Chantal Valluy was 40 when she joined the Musée Guimet as its project manager. Having studied as a sinologist, she abandoned her main speciality to list and present the eight thousand-odd pieces of Far Eastern art in Clémence d’Ennery's collection, to which she devoted a thesis in 1975. Chantal Valluy was succeeded by Hélène Bayou, heritage curator in charge of the Japanese art section at the Musée Guimet, whose mission was to reawaken the Sleeping Beauty after it was closed for sixteen years. Her task was to restore the museum, bring it up to standard and redesign the presentation. The museum reopened in April 2012, once more fulfilling its founder's original intention: that of sharing her passion. What do we know about Clémence d’Ennery? Chantal Valluy: Amazingly, very little has been written about her, although her husband, Adolphe d’Ennery – a successful playwright – was much talked about. She is mentioned by the Goncourt brothers in their “Journal” , but only up to 1870, when Jules de Goncourt died. Why is her collection so remarkable? Hélène Bayou: Through its scope, through its content, which perpetuates the European taste for Chinese art,

Netsuke, child removing a Shishi mask, red-lacquered wood, Japan, Edo period.
© Raphaël Chipault and Benjamin Soligny/Musée Guimet

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GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL I N° 24


DISCOVERY

THE MAGAZINE

View of the Musée d’Ennery: Salon III and view of gallery IV before the renovation work.

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N° 24 I GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL

121

©
Raphaël Chipault and Benjamin Soligny/Musée Guimet

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