The current director of the Orsay Museum will take over from Catherine Pgard at the head of the public establishment, revealed “Le Figaro”. A surprise, as the director was initially supposed to stay in post until the end of the Olympic Games.
Effect of surprise in the cozy world of museum management. While we no longer expected it, Versailles has finally found a new direction, according to Le Figaro. In the coming days, Christophe Leribault, current president of the Orsay and Orangerie museums, should replace Catherine Pgard at the head of the Château de Versailles estate. If the latter was initially to remain in post until the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games – Versailles is preparing to host the equestrian, para-equestrian and modern pentathlon events in its park – Emmanuel Macron seems to have decided otherwise, after several years of procrastination. The reign of Catherine Pgard at the head of the Palace of Versailles, in place since 2011, aroused numerous criticisms. The director had reached the age limit and her mandate was no longer renewable. Considered to be the act of the prince, this maintenance was also singled out by the Court of Auditors in November.
Record attendance at Orsay
The future director of Versailles, for his part, only spent a short time at the Musée d’Orsay. Two busy years: arriving in October 2021, Christophe Leribault has initiated a policy of openness to bring Orsay into the present. A fan of successful exhibitions, he wanted to make the museum more popular than ever, with “blockbuster” exhibitions including the one on Van Gogh, which ended with a record attendance of nearly 800,000 visitors – the “best exhibition attendance since the museum opened” in 1986, boasted a February 8 press release. We also saw more contemporary exhibitions such as that of the British painter Peter Doig or a superb display of pastel works. At 60, Christophe Leribault, holder of a doctorate in art history at the Sorbonne, great connoisseur of the 19th century and the Scandinavian scene, already has a great career behind him.
Having worked at the Carnavalet Museum, the graphic arts department of the Louvre Museum and the Eugène-Delacroix National Museum, it was at the Petit Palais that he distinguished himself, considered a hard worker according to his teams. Under his leadership, the Petit Palais had returned to the center of the capital. He focused on forgotten artists of the 19th century and introduced the public to the Scandinavian scene by exhibiting the Swede Carl Larsson, the Danish painters Anders Zorn and Vilhelm Hammershoi. Thanks to these Nordic artists, presented in original scenographies, it attracted a large audience: attendance at the Petit Palais increased by 165%. It is natural that he recently participated in the presidential delegation during an official trip to Sweden, reports Le Figaro. The name of the future director of Orsay is not yet known.