You’re scary, you’re wonderful

Acquisitions by the Quai Branly Museum 1998-2005

Ever since the Quai Branly Museum was 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 et du 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 Quai Branly Museum since it was opened in 1998, and presents the more important items. This is the first time that this exceptional holding, which constitutes the fabric of the museum’s permanent collection, has been revealed to the general public.

Among the remarkable artworks here, the sculpture and jewels from Insuline, in the former Barbier-Mueller collection, the African sculptures that belonged to Anne and Jacques Kerchache, and again, the Djennenké – a rare thousand-year-old masterpiece from the land of the Dogon, may be cited.

The artworks from all the continents, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, are presented in their geographical groupings, thus highlighting the aesthetic connections..

concerning the title of this book

‘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 1948. André Breton was one of the great ‘discoverers’ of the primitive arts, the art of Oceania and North America in particular.  


192 pages 22 cm x 25 cm format
160 colour 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. Head Curator for Heritage Having been appointed director of the museological project within the context of the prefiguration mission for the musée de l'Homme, des Arts et des Civilisations in 1997, in 1999 he then resumed his previous post in the Quai Branly Museum until 2005. He is now scientific advisor to Stéphane Martin, President of the Quai Branly Museum.