The building, designed by architect Frank Gehry, is a new venue in Paris for contemporary French and international artistic creation. A veritable cloud of glass, the Foundation is integrated into the site of the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris, north of the Bois de Boulogne.
The Louis Vuitton Foundation aims to support and promote contemporary artistic creation among Parisians and an international public. Its collection and programming are in line with the historical movements of 20th and 21st century art and creation.
Within its spaces, the public will be invited to discover the permanent collection composed of works belonging to the Foundation or to the Arnault collection as well as temporary exhibitions - two per year - and musical events in the auditorium.
The building's terraces offer unprecedented views of Paris and the wooded environment of the Jardin d'Acclimatation, from which Frank Gehry drew his inspiration to create an architecture of glass and transparency.
A UFO by Gehry
A dream maker, he has imagined a unique, emblematic and daring building. Respectful of a history rooted in 19th century French culture, Frank Gehry dares to use the technological prowess of the 21st century, paving the way for groundbreaking innovations.
From the 19th century, Frank Gehry has retained the transparent lightness of glass and a taste for walks punctuated by surprises. His architecture merges a traditional art of living, a visionary audacity and the innovations offered by the technologies of the present.
From the invention of glass curved to the millimeter for the 3,600 panels of the Foundation's twelve sails, to the 19,000 panels of ductal (fiber-reinforced concrete), all different, giving the iceberg its immaculate whiteness, not to mention an unprecedented design process, each step of the construction process pushed the limits of coded architecture to invent a unique building that is the measure of a dream.
Just as the world is constantly changing, we wanted to design a building that evolves with the time and light to create a sense of ephemerality and continual change.
This architectural challenge is already one of the most emblematic achievements of 21st century architecture. Frank Gehry's building, which reveals totally new forms, is like the Fondation Louis Vuitton project: unique, creative and innovative.
In his first sketch, Frank Gehry was inspired by the lightness of the glass and garden architecture of the late 19th century. The architect made numerous models in wood, plastic and aluminum, playing with lines and shapes, giving a certain movement to his building in the making. The choice of materials is made: a glass envelope will cover the body of the building, an assembly of blocks called "iceberg", giving it its volume and its momentum.
Placed on a basin, the building was thought as a sailboat or a vessel inserted in the natural environment, between wood and garden, playing with light and mirror effects.
13,500 m2: surface area of the 12 glass sails
19,000 sheets of Ductal (white fiber reinforced concrete)
7,000 m2: total useful surface
3,850 m2: museum spaces
11: exhibition galleries
320 seats or 1,000 standing places in the auditorium
In 2001, Bernard Arnault met Frank Gehry after visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. The idea of a collaboration for the Louis Vuitton Foundation project was launched.
A site steeped in history, remarkable
The Louis Vuitton Foundation is located in the Bois de Boulogne, near the Jardin d'Acclimatation, a famous park in western Paris. In October 1860, after two years of work, Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie inaugurated the Jardin d'Acclimatation, endowing Paris, in the Bois de Boulogne and near the Longchamp racecourse, with a landscaped park designed according to the model of the English gardens that they loved.
With a surface area of 846 hectares, the Bois de Boulogne has 28 km of bridle paths and 15 km of cycling routes. It is crossed by numerous lakes, streams and ponds as well as the Grande Cascade which have been a source of pleasure for many Parisians since the middle of the 19th century.
The Jardin d'Acclimatation became a fashionable place for walkers, teachers and scientists. Offering an immense variety of exotic plants and rare animals, it has been home to a zoological society since its inception, which, under the aegis of Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, developed a triple ambition: educational, scientific and recreational.
Today, in addition to its exceptional landscape heritage, the Jardin d'Acclimatation is home to architectural elements that bear witness to its history: the Grande Volière, the Pigeonnier, the Écuries, the Kiosque à musique and the Rocher aux daims (Deer Rock) give it all its Parisian charm.
Since its opening in 1860, it has seen the young Marcel Proust and generations of children play.
Did you know that?
The Bois de Boulogne is considered as one of the two "lungs" of the capital. Its twin is none other than the Bois de Vincennes, which is located to the east of the city.
It is two and a half times larger than Central Park in New York and three times larger than Hyde Park in London.
Finally, the Bois de Boulogne is all that remains of the ancient forest of Rouvray - "a place planted with oak trees".
LVMH and the environment
The construction of the Foundation meets the commitments of the LVMH group to sustainable development. From the start of the project, the fauna, flora and water tables were observed and studied, and the acoustic impacts and access for all the public were anticipated and taken into account.
The ecological and human pillars of sustainable development were thus placed at the heart of all phases of the project: design, construction and operation.
Since the opening of the building, the preservation of natural resources has been a constant concern. Indeed, rainwater will be recovered to supply systems that do not require drinking water.
Stored and filtered, it will be used primarily to clean the building's facades and glass roofs. It will also be used to water the pond on which the Foundation stands and to water the planted areas and terraces. The consumption of drinking water used in the Foundation will therefore be limited and adjusted according to needs.
The Foundation; a place for creation
Driven by a mission of general interest, the Foundation is committed to making art and culture accessible to all. In order to promote artistic creation on a national and international level, it holds temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, presentations of works from its collection, commissions from artists, as well as multidisciplinary events (concerts, performances, conferences, screenings, dance, etc.).
Alongside major modern art exhibitions ("Keys to a Passion", "Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection", "The Courtauld Collection: the party of Impressionism"), it offers a look at the current scene in France and around the world ("Chinese artists at the Louis Vuitton Foundation", "Art/Africa, the new workshop", "Tuning fork of the world" ...).
In addition, the Open Space program, initiated in 2018, invites young national and international artists to imagine a specific project for the Foundation, in dialogue with the Frank Gehry building.
In the Auditorium, musicians and artists of all disciplines offer a classical and contemporary repertoire.
Lastly, to echo the current exhibitions, artistic and intellectual personalities will meet for an exchange. Colloquia, debates and meetings are organized within the Foundation and offer a fresh look at the works on display.
The Morozov Collection, the latest in a series
The collection of Ivan (1871-1921) and Mikhail (1870-1903) Abramovich Morozov has been on display at the Foundation for the first time outside Russia for several months now.
->This incredible collection was created by two brothers: Mikhail and Ivan Morozov. Nothing predestined this Russian family to assemble one of the world's greatest art collections.
In 1770, their great-grandfather Savva was born into servitude and worked for Count Nikolai Ruminin. Nevertheless, he managed to create a silk ribbon workshop which quickly became so successful that in 1820 he was able to raise the colossal sum of 17,000 rubles to buy back his freedom and that of his family.
The Morozovs became a wealthy family of industrialists who owned several textile factories. Mikhail's and Ivan's mother Varvara gave the two brothers a thorough artistic education and gave them a strong taste for theater, literature and painting.
The exhibition, which was supposed to end on February 22, 2022, was extended by mutual agreement with the partners of the event: the Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Tretyakov Gallery.
In view of its success and the exceptional nature of the works shown, the exhibition will remain open until April 3, 2022.
Did you know that?
The 200 works of art by major French and Russian painters and sculptors have already attracted more than 800,000 visitors at the end of January!
Years of research and passion
At the end of the 19th century, Russian cultural life opened up to modernity and certain bourgeois like Shchukin (to whom the Foundation devoted an exhibition in 2017) began to collect works of art. It is in this context that Mikhail started his collection in the 1890s with the help of advisors such as the painters Konstantine Korovine and Valentin Sérov.
Mikhaïl Morozov collected impressionist paintings, landscapes, scenes of Parisian life but also nudes which was then very badly perceived in his still very puritanical environment and which demonstrated the courage of his artistic choices. Manet, Corot, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Bonnard, Denis, Gauguin and Van Gogh joined his collection.
When Mikhail died in 1903, the collection consisted of 39 French and 44 Russian works. His brother Ivan took over the project with the ambition to build up an exemplary collection of modern French art. He regularly went to Paris where he was advised by Ambroise Vollard, Eugène Druet and Paul Durand-Ruel.
He discovered the work of Cézanne, collected the Fauves (like Matisse and Derain) and became the first Russian to buy a Picasso painting for 300 francs!
In 1918, the Morozovs' remarkable collection included 240 French and 430 Russian works of art. During the Russian revolution, a decree of Lenin confiscated and nationalized the collection which was then dispersed in various museums. Some of the so-called "degenerate" paintings were hidden in Siberia to escape destruction.
Today, at the Foundation, The Morozov Collection. Icons of Modern Art brings together a group of works by French and Russian artists among the most iconic of this Collection: Manet, Rodin, Monet, Pissarro, Lautrec, Renoir, Sisley, Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Denis, Maillol, Matisse, Marquet, Vlaminck, Derain and Picasso alongside Repin, Korovin, Golovin, Sérov, Larionov, Goncharova, Malevich, Machkov, Konenkov, Kontchalovski and Outkine.
After the exhibition of the Shchukin Collection at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in 2016/2017, the Morozov Collection is another major historical section dedicated to the great Russian collectors of the early 20th century.
During your walk, you will be able to discover:
Van Gogh's Round of Prisoners
The monumental decor of Maurice Denis
Paul Cézanne's landscapes
The Portrait of Jeanne Samary or The Reverie of Auguste Renoir