Olivier Gabet

Museum Director and Curator

Spring and Fall 2022

Headshot of Olivier Gabet in suit

Eleonore Demey

  • Museums
  • Cities
  • New York
  • Washington, DC
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
“Making youth a cornerstone of museums’ strategies and a decisive factor in their cultural and educational policies, as well as the lead vehicle of intelligibility in the most topical issues of society regarding diversity and universality.”
Who?
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Graduated from the École nationale des chartes and the École nationale du patrimoine, I am a museum curator and art historian. Right from my first job at Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, in 2002, I combined study and writing with the practice of curatorship, then with the practice of managing an institution in cultural heritage. I made this pairing central to my career. If I had to summarize the first two decades of this career, I would highlight a traditional main theme becoming enriched with many challenges, even disruption. For example, as curator at Musée d’Orsay from 2005 to 2007, I oversaw the decorative arts collections of the latter half of the nineteenth century, and the “Correspondances” program, a series of invitations for contemporary artists from France and around the world to dialogue with the museum’s collections, which was still rare at the time.

 

In a similar vein, I moved on from this job to work on the project for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, where I was curator for decorative arts then deputy scientific director, from 2008 to 2013. This was a unique chance to support the launch of a museum in the twenty-first century, a cultural and intellectual risk taken at a time of intense controversy. It was a decisive experience that gave an even finer awareness of the challenges of contemporary museums, from collections to education, against a geopolitical backdrop that was complex and fascinating.

 

In 2013, I became director of Musée des Arts décoratifs, in Paris. More executive and cross-disciplinary tasks were added to this role in 2019, when I became deputy managing director of the entire institution of Les Arts Décoratifs. This grouping, now called MAD, includes museums, a library, and schools. I am fortunate to oversee a multidisciplinary museum closely tied to the latest changes in creative industries (fashion and design), yet firmly committed to defending and passing on knowledge about a world-class heritage collection rooted in European and non-Western history. Musée des Arts décoratifs deals with issues that are central to today’s debates on heritage and creation, on education and handing down knowledge, and on diversity and openness.

 

What?
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Where?
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In partnership with

logo musee des art decoratif
Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Located in the Louvre Palace along Rue de Rivoli, between the Tuileries gardens and the Place du Palais Royal, MAD Paris (The Museum of Decorative Arts) is a conservatory exhibiting the incredible work of craftsmen and artists. The collection, one of the most important in the world, presents, an unparalleled overview of the history of furniture, glass, ceramics, silverware, jewelry, design, textiles, fashion, graphics, and advertising, from the Middle Ages to the present day. 

 

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