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Key to the Louvre e-book
Memoirs of a Curator

By M. Michel Laclotte
384 pages
10 illustrations, 9 in full color
Published 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7892-6007-9
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An art world insider provides a witty and penetrating account of fifty years at the center of international culture.


Art historian, curator, and museum director Michel Laclotte has been at the forefront of French cultural life over the past half century. This informal autobiography sheds light on his brilliant career with warmth and directness. Highlights include twenty years as chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Musée du Louvre, heading the team that created the Musée d'Orsay, and taking the reins of the Louvre to lead the effort that culminated in the museum's transformation into the “Grand Louvre,” one of the world's preeminent cultural attractions.

Raising the curtain on fifty years of Western art scholarship, intrigue, and achievement, Laclotte introduces an extraordinary cast of characters who set France's cultural direction in the postwar period from Charles de Gaulle and André Malraux in the 1950s to François Mitterand in the 1980s and 1990s. His story overlaps with virtually every major scholarly figure in French art history of the last half-century, as well as Laclotte's mentors and colleagues throughout and beyond Europe, from Roberto Longhi and Anthony Blunt to Sir John Pope-Hennessy and Millard Meiss. An incomparable testament to a period of seismic change in the museum world, this volume will be essential reading for art world afficianados and all students of art and modern culture.

Michel Laclotte, Director of the Musée du Louvre from 1987 to 1995, also served as Chief Curator in the museum's Department of Paintings beginning in 1966. He specializes in French and Italian painting of the 14th and 15th centuries. Laclotte served as the Editorial Director for Abbeville's masterwork, The Art and Spirit of Paris.

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