Laurence des Cars will become the first female president of the Louvre, following her appointment by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Cars art historian is currently president of the Musée d’Orsay and the Orangerie in Paris, and will succeed Jean-Luc Martinez in September 2021.
According to a press release from the French Ministry of Culture, des Cars will work to foster a “dialogue between ancient art and the contemporary world” and to broaden the attractiveness of the Louvre, especially for young people. She has pledged to extend the museum’s opening hours to make it more accessible to workers – it currently closes at 5.30pm.
“I am deeply honored by the confidence placed in me by the President of the French Republic and the Minister of Culture by appointing me to head this wonderful museum,” said des Cars.
“My ambition is to place the Louvre at the heart of current debates, and that it stimulates reflection on all societal issues. Through its “long-term” approach, the Louvre gives relevance to the present, it is resolutely contemporary and can therefore say a lot about today’s youth.
“The recent crisis has had a particularly destabilizing impact, and has forced us to think about economic balances and to rethink – despite the constraints – the visit to the museum in terms of an exceptional experience.
General Curator of Heritage, specializing in 19th and early 20th century art, Laurence des Cars began her career at the Musée d’Orsay, before supervising the development of the Louvre Abu Dhabi between 2007 and 2014. During the four In recent years, she has worked on broadening the attractiveness of the Musée d’Orsay and the Orangerie, expanding the program of exhibitions and live performances. In 2019, she oversaw the acclaimed exhibition Models Blacks: From Géricault to Matisse at the Musée d’Orsay, which focused on the representation of black figures in the visual arts, and in 2020 announced major transformation plans for the museum.
Des Cars plans to invite a range of contemporary artists and collaborators to the Louvre, while emphasizing the history of the museum.
“I want to see the great scholars who make the Louvre what it is share their knowledge with absolute openness,” she said. “I also want to give today’s creators the opportunity to express themselves.”