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. Catalog 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 became one of the founders of Art Press magazine.

In 1975, Hubert Goldet began collecting African Art, a passion that would continue 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 treasure cave, where a sepulchral light shone on a multitude of statues. Visitors used a flashlight to marvel at each separate piece.

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 and obtained 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 the Cross River during the 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 a difficult subject, its wild and magical nature 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 Pavillon des Sessions (located in the musée du 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", "Artistes d'Abomey: dialogue sur un royaume africain" (Abomey Artists: dialogue on an African kingdom) or "Fleuv Congo, Arts d'Afrique centrale" (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