Laurence Des Cars: The First Woman At The Head Of The Louvres

Even if many hoped for the renewal of the president-director of the Louvre Museum, Jean-Luc Martinez was decided otherwise. Laurence des Cars, currently President of the Orsay and Orangerie museums, has been appointed to succeed him.

She is the first woman to have obtained this position since the museum’s opening. For this reason, it seems appropriate to highlight the system for appointing the President of the Louvre, Laurence des Cars‘ career path, and her plans for this public institution.

1. The President-director of the Louvre


Created in 1793, the Musée du Louvre did not have a director until 1968. André Parrot, the former President, had limited powers of action. It was not until 1992 that the museum became a public administrative institution with a cultural vocation (EPAC), giving more freedom to the President, who then became president-director.

The President of the Republic appoints the president-director of the Louvre for a five-year term. They may be reappointed twice for three years each time. Until 1993, presidents had to be chosen from among the curators of national museums. Since then, the choice can be made from any recognized scientific personality, even if, for the moment, only heritage curators have been called to the directorate. Moreover, Laurence des Cars has already held the position of a museum curator.

2. The career of Laurence des Cars


Laurence des Cars is an internationally recognized curator. She has specialized in 19th and 20th-century art. She is a graduate of the University of Paris IV, the École du Louvre, and the Institut National du Patrimoine.

Laurence des Cars was first appointed curator at the Musée d’Orsay in 1994, where she remained until 2007. During this period, she organized various exhibitions with international partners. In 2007, Laurence des Cars were appointed scientific director of the Agence France Muséums. She also managed the operation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Laurence des Cars was also appointed President of the Musée d’Orangerie in 2014, then the Musée d’Orsay in 2017. She will continue to serve as President of both museums until September, when she will officially assume the president-director of the Louvre.

3. Laurence des Cars’ Projects


The candidates running for the presidency of the Louvre have each presented their plans for the museum’s development. However, Laurence des Cars’ plan was more appealing to the Minister of Culture and the President of the Republic. In particular, it emphasizes youth and modernizing the museum.

As Laurence des Cars says so well, “the Louvre is the home of all the arts and artists. Moreover, it welcomes more than 10 million visitors in one year, making it the most important museum in the world.

Laurence des Cars intends to make this museum even more attractive to people of all ages. According to her, the museum is an “echo chamber”. Thus, it is important to make the past resonate with the present. This talented and dynamic woman has carried out significant projects in her career.

The attendance at the Orangerie and Orsay museums, which has increased significantly since she became director, is proof of this. She is also the initiator of the “Orsay Grand Ouvert” project, which involves the extension and improvement of this museum. The opening of the new spaces is planned for 2024.

During Laurence des Cars’ tenure, the Musée d’Orsay received the most significant number of works, donations from several people. In short, judging by des Cars’ exceptional career, her appointment as president-director of the Louvre is entirely justified. Her dynamism and talent make her the most appropriate person to hold this position.

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