From beloved works by Matisse and Rodin in museum collections to American icons like the Statue of Liberty, French sculpture has had a rich and indelible impact on the cultural landscape of the United States. In celebration of a new website that reveals the extent of this shared creative history, Laure de Margerie and panelists from the project’s international partner institutions share stories of favorite works drawn from the database of the French Sculpture Census.
The Nasher’s ongoing speaker series features conversations and lectures on the ever-expanding definition of sculpture and the minds behind some of the world’s most innovative artwork, architecture, and design.
Laure de Margerie, Director of the French Sculpture Census, was Senior Archivist and head of the Sculpture Archives at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, from 1978 through 2009. In this position she curated several exhibitions including Facing the Other: Charles Cordier (1827-1905), Ethnographic Sculptor (Paris, Quebec City, New York, 2004/05). She was part of the team who installed the sculpture collection at the opening of the museum in 1986 and co-authored the collection catalogue (1986). De Margerie also worked as archivist in charge of historic buildings in Normandy in Rouen (1983-1985) and oversaw rights and reproductions at the National Archives in Paris (1991-1992). She was awarded a fellowship at the Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, MA (2000/01), and was the Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department guest scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA (Fall 2011).
The Census of French Sculpture in American Public Collections is the first comprehensive catalogue of French sculpture in the United States. It lists all existing French sculpture, dating from 1500 to 1960, in American public collections. Not only does it take account of works in museums, but also in historic houses, government buildings (the White House, for example), corporate collections, and public space. The scope of the census is vast, both in space and time, and currently includes 7,500 works by 680 artists in 305 locations.
Hosted by the Nasher Sculpture Center and supported by a consortium of institutions in the U.S. and France, the French Sculpture Census will be the largest existing website solely dedicated to sculpture. The Census of French Sculpture in American Public Collections is a project of the University of Texas at Dallas and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, in coproduction with the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), Paris, the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, and the Musée Rodin, Paris, with the participation of the Ecole du Louvre, Paris.The website launched in fall 2014 at frenchsculpture.org.
Support for the 360 series is underwritten in part by Sylvia Hougland, in honor of her husband, Curtis Hougland.
Supported in part by: City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs
Media Partner: Glasstire