Olivia Voisin

Museum Director and Curator

Spring and Fall 2022

Olivia Voisin, standing in a museum, arms crossed
  • Museums
  • Cities
  • Washington, DC
  • New York
  • Los Angeles
"Making the collections both physically and intellectually accessible to the public, by working to ensure that they are comprehensible to one and all."
Who?
-

I am a museum curator and an art historian specializing in the nineteenth century and the relationships between the art forms. Since 2015, I am also Director of the Orléans Museums and Curator of Contemporary Collections at the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts. Throughout my career, I have focused on the need to make the collections both physically and intellectually accessible to the public, by working to ensure that they are comprehensible to one and all.

 

I have made modes of presentation and visitor support key aspects of our various projects to reorganize the Orléans Museums’ collections, particularly the redesign of the itinerary at the Museum of Fine Arts–a project underway since 2016. The narrative progression, the provision of new written outreach material offering keys to a historical, artistic and socio-economic interpretation of the artworks, the choice of presentations evoking the tastes of each era or spotlighting the museum’s founders… these are elements of the visitor itinerary that can combine to create an immersive experience. Another source of my reflection is how we deal with the contents of the storerooms: artworks that are unrelated to movements currently in vogue, and others that require major conservation treatment or have been put away for various reasons represent a hidden heritage that visitors are invited to discover during the overhaul of a collection, or on the occasion of major restoration operations.

 

One such exhibition, "Et in Arcadia… Fragments de collection" (2019), introduced visitors to the reality of the sculpture storeroom and explored issues such as changes related to historical context (wars) or the vagaries of fashion (such as the disinterest in plaster in the twentieth century), raising the question of choices in terms of conservation and display. I created the new itineraries at the Museum of Fine Arts by stepping beyond the boundaries of curatorial choice to focus on presentation solutions that give each work of art its rightful place. Respectful of the public nature of the collections, I see the museum as a place that guarantees universal access to all the artworks, in optimal conditions designed to enhance each visitor’s personal experience.

 

What?
+
Where?
+

In partnership with

Logo des musées d'orléans
Musées d’Orléans

Born in 1825 from an appeal for donations, the collections of the Orléans museums are today divided between the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the Hôtel Cabu - Musée d'Histoire et d'Archéologie and the Museum for Biodiversity and the Environment. The Musée des Beaux-Arts hosts one of the main French collections of European art from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. Its history, the result of a longstanding philanthropy, is the basis for the recent redeployment of 1,100 works in a narrative museography.

 

Learn more