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2 October

Hubert Goldet

« Today, if I could not collect African Art, I don’t think I would collect anything. »

                                                    Hubert Goldet, dans Arts d’Afrique Noire

« In all things, he had universal taste and truly appreciated the most beautiful and most lyrical art as well as the hardest, even sometimes grotesque art. »

                                                    Susan Vogel, 2001, «sacrificial Moment », in Art primitif. Collection Hubert Goldet. Catalogue of the public auction, June 30th and July 1st 2001.

 

Passionate collector and wealthy heir, Hubert Goldet (1945 – 2000) was deeply interested in contemporary art. In 1971, he becomes one of the founders of Art Press magazine.

In 1975, Hubert Goldet starts collecting African Art, a passion that will remain until his death. He equally admired simple everyday objects and museum pieces. He secretly collected objects and dreams in his rue Pierre 1er de Serbie apartment, a surprising treasury cave, where a sepulchral light shone on a multitude of statues. Visitors used a flashlight to wonder at each piece one by one.

His collection, considered « one of the two or three most important in France» by expert Alain de Monbrison, was dispersed in auctions by François de Ricqlès at the Maison de la Chimie in 2001 (June 30th to July 1st) where more than 644 pieces were auctioned for a historical result.

donation of a Nigerian ekoi crest mask

An unusual Ekoi crest was donated to the museum in 2002, a proof of his knowing eye for African art.

crest mask - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
crest mask © musée du quai Branly, photo Thierry Ollivier, Michel Urtado
crest mask - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
crest mask © musée du quai Branly, photo Thierry Ollivier, Michel Urtado
crest mask - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
crest mask © musée du quai Branly, photo Thierry Ollivier, Michel Urtado

Used by one of the many groups linked to Cross River under Ekoi rule (Southeast of Nigeria), this intimidating mask, with deeply human movement, appeared during funerary ceremonies. It is made of antelope skin stretched over a human skull with human hair covering the skull and chin. Despite being difficult, the wild and magical subject is sure to mesmerize.

dation 

Hubert Godet’s dation enriched the museum collection with 15 remarkable pieces. The first dation, in 1999, just before his death in 2000, of three remarkable pieces from Mali and Congo are exposed in the Session pavilion (located in the Louvre, inaugurated in 2000).

 

headrest - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
headrest © musée du quai Branly, photo Hughes Dubois
maternity - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
maternity © musée du quai Branly, photo Hughes Dubois
human statuette - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
human statuette © musée du quai Branly, photo Hughes Dubois

The second dation, in 2003 of several meaningful objects are generally displayed in the Collections area or during temporary exhibitions such as "Planète Metisse, to mix or not to mix", " Abomey Artists: dialogue on an African kingdom" or " Congo River, Arts of Central Africa".

human shaped spoon - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
human shaped spoon © musée du quai Branly, photo Patrick Gries
human statuette - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
human statuette © musée du quai Branly, photo Patrick Gries, Valerie Torre
chief’s scepter - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
chief’s scepter © musée du quai Branly, photo Patrick Gries, Bruno Descoings