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Laclotte, Michel

    Full Name: Laclotte, Michel

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1923

    Home Country/ies: France


    Louvre director 1987-1994. As a school boy during the German occupation of Paris, Laclotte resolved to be a museums person. During the war, he traveled with his family to provincial museums, redesigning on paper how he would install the works he saw. After the liberation, Laclotte was amazed by Picasso’s works at the Salon d’Automne in 1944. When the paintings returned to the Louvre from the war’s safekeeping, he was appalled at how curator René Huyghe hung the works in no apparent order. As curator of painting, he mounted major Poussin show of 1960. He ordered an inventory of provincial French museums, unifying the thinking of what a country’s art should be thought of. Laclotte lobbied and succeeded in having the Gare d’Orsay rennovated into a museum to replace the Jeu de Paume, completed in 1986. He was appointed director of the Louvre in 1987. He consolidated the Louvre’s spaces directly under his control (for years the museum’s ballroom had been used as a state reception area). Laclotte retired in 1994, succeeded by Pierre Rosenberg.


    Russell, John. “The Man Who Reinvented the Louvre; At one of the worst moments of the German occupation of France, he decided to ‘make museums.” New York Times June 6, 1993, p. H39


    "Laclotte, Michel." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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