You’re scary, you’re wonderful

You're scary, you're wonderful

Acquisitions by the musée du quai Branly 1998-2005

Ever since the musée du quai Branly opened as a public institution, the new Museum’s acquisition policy has constantly reflected its need to augment the resources that it was due to receive from the musée de l'Homme and the musée national des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie. This publication retraces the historical background to these acquisitions, which amount to about 8 200 artworks donated or bequeathed to the musée du quai Branly since its opening in 1998, and presents the most important artefacts. This is the first time that this exceptional ensemble, which constitutes the fabric of the Museum’s permanent collection, has been revealed to the general public.

Amongst the remarkable artworks feature the sculpture and jewels from Insulindia from the former Barbier-Mueller collection, the African sculptures that belonged to Anne and Jacques Kerchache and the Djennenké – a rare one thousand-year-old masterpiece from the land of the Dogon.

The artworks from all the four continents - Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas - are presented within their geographical categories, thus highlighting the aesthetic resonances.

Regarding the book's title

‘Tu fais peur tu émerveilles’ (you’re scary, you’re wonderful) is the last verse of a poem by André Breton, called Uli, which was published in the Xénophile anthology and in the catalogue for the Océanie exhibition, in the André Olive Gallery in 1948. André Breton was one of the great ‘discoverers’ of the primitive arts in particular of the art of Oceania and North America.  


192 pages 22 cm x 25 cm format
160 color illustrations 
Price : 18 €
ISBN 2-915133-25-5 / 2-7118-5208-3

Co-published by musée du quai Branly/Réunion des musées nationaux

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Germain Viatte is the author of this book. Chief Heritage Curator. In 1997, he was appointed director of the museological project for the mission that prefigured the musée de l'Homme, des Arts et des Civilisations. In 1999 he resumed his previous post at the musée du quai Branly until 2005. He is now the scientific advisor to Stéphane Martin, President of the musée du quai Branly.