collections area

The museum entry ticket includes access to the collections area, to the temporary exhibitions on the mezzanines East and West, to the multimedia mezzanine and to the Jacques Kerchache reading room.

collections area

An all-in-one geographic journey including 3,500 objects from the four corners of the globe.

As you leave the "ramp", a long winding ribbon spiralling up from the entrance hall, the collections area introduces you to the large geographical regions from which the remarkable collections of the musée du quai Branly originate:  Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Visitors flow through them on a journey that takes in some great crossroads between civilisations and cultures: Asia-Oceania, the Indies, Mashreq-Maghreb.

The presentation of 3,500 objects highlights the profound history of the cultures presented, and the diversity of meaning of the pieces. The museography encourages visitors to linger, to find out more about the major themes: masks and tapa in Oceania, costumes from Asia, and musical instruments or textiles in Africa are the subject of remarkable and fascinating video installations.

multimedia information system

In the permanent collections area, as part of the visit, more than a hundred video programmes and installations inform visitors and make them aware: they complement and supplement the visit, offering several levels of responses and commentaries, which are aimed as much at the specialist as at someone strolling by. The objects do not speak for themselves: to make them accessible it is sometimes useful to take a fresh look at the prior knowledge attached to certain cultures, or to certain specialist knowledge; to offer an experience, to provide access to previously unseen notebooks and documents, collected "on the ground" by anthropologists. This mosaic of screens leaves more room for the strength of images that otherwise complete the textual elements. These previously unseen programmes have been completely designed, assembled and produced for the musée du quai Branly from 4,000 documents, and can be found at different points along the route:

  • in the display cases themselves, short programmes, brief audiovisual or audio loops about the different issues linked to the objects on display (pygmy art, Malgache music, the sounds of the musical instruments on display in the cases….);
  • in the interactive alcoves (23 consultation terminals) scattered throughout the collections area. Longer programmes are grouped by geographical area. Summaries of major, wide-reaching themes such as divination, the link between art and nature, the origins of monotheism...., these programmes allow the visitor complete freedom to explore ; 
  • finally, the museum includes 8 remarkable multimedia installations, the highly-original result of a consideration as to how to display the intangible : music, tattoos, architecture, divination experience, ritual dances. These installations are designed as spectacular "objects" belonging to the museum, its locations and its collections, and are aimed at experimentation. The projection of holograms among the visitors (Asia), vibrations from the Music tower, audio immersion in one of the two music boxes, or an "oceanic crystal ball" located at the crossroads of peoples....these multimedia installations help to make a visit to the musée du quai Branly an extraordinary experience.

the river

A tactile area about the way in which man perceives and represents space: through looking and touching

In the heart of the collections area and a major theme of your visit, the museum offers you a unique and original journey designed for all visitors and specially adapted for the disabled. Texts in Braille, tactile bas-reliefs and screens that have been specially adapted to be used in different ways (by those who are visually or hearing impaired, or with reduced mobility) provide, through about twenty different sequences, a glimpse of the  relationship between man and the space around him, and to the place in which he settles, in various cultures. Set in leather-covered furniture with an organic shape, the river presents a wide-reaching theme, and provides a new understanding of the geographic dimension of the collections area.

Sacred places, places important to man, places of discovery....Unlike a "classic" exhibition, the river does not display any real objects, but suggests necessarily multiple transpositions of representations of the world. In just a few strides, you can move from Australia to Mongolia or to can see many ways of thinking about space take shape, about living it and moving through it, of exploring it, discovering it or discovering oneself.

The river was created thanks to the support of  Schneider Electric