collections area

The Museum entry ticket includes access to the Collections Area, the Temporary Exhibitions on the East and West mezzanines, 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 the collections on a journey where the Asia-Oceanian, the Indian, Mashreq-Maghreb civilisations and cultures meet.

The presentation of 3,500 objects highlights the profound history of the cultures presented, and the artefacts' diverse meanings. 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 subjects 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 deepen their knowledge: they complement and supplement the visit, offering several levels of responses and commentaries, which are aimed as much at the specialist as at the amateur visitor. 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 "in situ" by anthropologists. These screens give priority to the power of images, which 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 solution to the question of 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 between populations ....these multimedia installations help to make a visit to the musée du quai Branly an extraordinary experience.

the river

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

At the heart of the Collections Area, the Museum offers you a guiding thread in the form of a unique and original journey designed for all visitors and specially adapted for the disabled. Around twenty sequences illustrated using texts in Braille, tactile bas-reliefs and screens that have been specially adapted to be used in different ways (by those with visual or hearing impediments or reduced mobility) provide a glimpse into the relationship between humans, the space around them and the areas in which they settle, in various cultures. Set in leather-covered furniture with an organic shape, the river presents a trans-disciplinary theme and provides a new understanding of the geographic dimension of the Collections Area.

Sacred places, places important to humankind, places of discovery....Unlike a "classic" exhibition, the river does not display any real objects, but offers multiple transpositions of the way in which the world is represented. In just a few strides, you can move from Australia to Mongolia or to Mexico... you can discover many different ways of thinking about space and the way it takes shape, it is lived in, moved through, explored and discovered and how its discovery enables us to discover ourselves.

The river was created thanks to the support of  Schneider Electric