GUIMET Museum: Clemenceau, the Tiger and Asia

March 12 16 in June 2014

The exhibition received the Centennial Mission "Centennial Seal of the First World War" and is part of the state's official commemorative program.

Nicknamed "the Tiger" or "the Tomb of Ministry", statufié in Father Victory, Georges Clemenceau is part of history and the national memory as one of the most important political figures of his time. He who was not only a statesman and warlord had a real passion for Asia, his arts, his civilizations, his religions. The exhibition presented at the National Museum of Asian Arts-Guimet will be devoted to this little-known aspect of the illustrious man, great collector of Asian objects.

Focusing on his discovery of India and Buddhism, Orientalism and his interest in Asia, Clemenceau's collection will be collected at the museum; some 800 objects, some of which were scattered in 1894 when, struck by the Panama scandal, Clemenceau had to sell his collection at auction. Prints, paintings, kôgôs or Japanese incense boxes, masks, ceramics, but also photographs are witnesses of this passion for the arts of the Far East.

Writer, art critic, collector, or sponsor, Clemenceau was fundamentally an esthete. A prominent politician, he also had access to diplomatic channels for his collection.

Far from accumulating objects for one aesthetic purpose, Clemenceau wanted to understand their deep meaning, to immerse themselves in the meaning and thought from which they came. Clemenceau, the Tiger and Asia, will reveal how this man, orientalist, promoter of the dialogue of cultures, contributed to spread the knowledge of art and civilizations of Asia to the French public.

The chosen scenography evokes the journey of the "Tiger" in Asia in 1920 and offers the image of a journey of a new kind. His interest in studying religions, oriental philosophy and philosophical concepts that permeate the tea ceremony, are highlighted by the many books and collectibles Clemenceau possessed. For this exceptional exhibition, the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts will benefit from the scientific competition of two partner institutions: the Nice Asian Art Museum and the Historial de la Vendée, each of which will host the Clemenceau exhibition.



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