Christophe Leribault appointed President of the Musée d’Orsay

After three months of reflection, Emmanuel Macron finally chose Christophe Leribault to head the public establishment of the Musée d’Orsay (Paris), where the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world is to be found. The post was vacant since 1er September and the departure of Laurence des Cars from the Louvre Museum. The new president of Orsay will take office on October 5, for a five-year term.

At 57, Christophe Leribault was not the youngest of the candidates in the running, but his appointment rewards “An exemplary course”, one emphasizes at the Elysee. General curator of heritage, the native of Val-d’Oise occupied his first post at the Carnavalet Museum (Paris), joined in 1990. For fifteen years, he was in charge of paintings and drawings there, granting himself only a caesura. ‘a year at the Villa Medici in Rome, where he was a resident in 1995-1996.

In 2006, Henri Loyrette brought him to the Louvre to be curator in the graphic arts department. A year later, he took over the management of the Musée national Eugène-Delacroix (Paris), until his appointment in 2012 as director of the Petit Palais, which houses the Museum of Fine Arts of the City of Paris. Uncommon in the body of curators, the former student of the Parisian Lycée Condorcet is also an academic, holder of a doctorate obtained at the Sorbonne (Paris-IV). His thesis focused on the painter Jean-François de Troy (1679-1752).

International experience

Even though he has spent his entire career in Paris, Christophe Leribault has international experience, essential to direct a museum like Orsay, where the role of Anglo-Saxon patrons is important. In addition to his time at the Villa Medici, he was a fellow at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Florence Gould Foundation in New York, and a visiting scholar at Yale University. Sign of this proximity with patrons: a Japanese donor provided him with the means to restore the garden of the Delacroix Museum.

Christophe Leribault won because he had “the most solid and innovative project”, explains the entourage of Mr. Macron

At the Petit Palais, the graduate of the Ecole du Louvre has also been able to attract the favor of the public, attendance having jumped 165% since his arrival in 2012. And this while he preferred to the “blockbuster” exhibitions of more offbeat proposals from lesser-known artists or currents, by aligning them with the three major periods kept at the Petit Palais: the XVIIe, XVIIIe and especially XIXe centuries.

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