Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller
Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller, collectors with a keen eye, have always been extraordinarily curious and had an extremely good knowledge of arts from all around the world.
They expressed their interest in transmitting non-European collections and their desire to keep sets together in 1977 with the creation of the Barbier-Mueller museum in Geneva, which preserves and perpetuates the collections begun by Josef Mueller in 1907. They also expressed it with tight link to the Musée national des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie (National museum of African and Oceania art), then to the Musée du quai Branly, whose gaps they pointed out and filled. (http://www.barbier-mueller.ch/)
The exceptional works given or sold by Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller to the Musée du quai Branly have risen to 1,228, of which 502 were donations.
On Tuesday, 11 March 2008 in the presence of the Minister of Culture and Communication during a very special evening, Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller, gave two Olmec works to the Musée du Quai Branly (see the Americas section).
The donations by Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller to the Musée du quai Branly have enriched all of the collections from mixed geographical areas.
In 1996 and 1997, the Musée national des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie bought 262 Nigerian sculptures from Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller.
Eight donations have completed this set of objects from Nigeria:
- a ceremonial sword
- a pair of anthropomorphic Ogboni statuettes
- a Yoruba horseman
- an Ijo crested helmet
- a Mumuye seat
- an Ibo costume
- a zoomorphic crested mask
- a Yoruba bell
Two other donations complete the museum’s African collection:
- a Baoule statuette (Ivory Coast), donated in 1994
- an anthropomorphic Fon figurine (Benin), donated in 1996
In 1999, Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller donated four very important pieces.
These works are exhibited in the Pavillon des Sessions, an outpost of the Musée du Quai Branly in the Louvre museum.
- a pair of ana deo poles (Flores island)
- a pole (Salomon islands)
- a male sculpture (Nias island)
In 2001, thanks to Jean Paul Barbier, the museum’s Malay Archipelago collection gained 692 objects from Indonesia and 120 from the Philippines.Half of these pieces are donations:
- 112 textiles
- 287 pieces of jewellery that are all exhibited in the museum’s permanent collection as treasure chests and jewellery displays
- a Pagar Batak statue
- a Sigale-gale Batak puppet
In 2001, 80 pieces donated by Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller completed the museum’s Asian collection, apart from four objects from Taiwan and a Kalash funeral effigy which were bought.
These donations include:
- 69 Naga objects and jewellery sets (Nagaland, India)
- a Kalash hat and dress (Kohistan, Pakistan)
- a Kalash chair from Swat (NWFP, Pakistan)
- two Kalash house poles, exhibited near the entrance to the Claude Lévi-Strauss theatre
- a Kalash house door (NWFP, Pakistan), in the permanent collections
- a bronze swing from Bastar (Chhattisgarh, India)
In 2003, four pieces donated by Jean Paul Barbier were added to the museum’s Americas collection:
In 2008, two Olmec pieces donated by Jean Paul Barbier and Monique Barbier-Mueller joined the Musée du quai Branly collections:
- an Olmec terracotta figurine, Las Bocas, Mexico, (between 500 BC. and 400 AD). Height: 21 cm
- an Olmec antigorite figurine of the “baby face” type, Mexico (1150 – 550 BC.). Height : 6,3 cm