Musée d’Orsay Curator Claire Bernardi Picked to Lead Paris’s Musée de l’Orangerie

Claire Bernardi, a curator at the Musée d’Orsay, has been named as the new head of the Musée de l’Orangerie, a Paris museum that’s home to numerous treasures of 19th- and 20th-century art history, including Claude Monet’s sprawling Nymphéas (1920–26). In addition to leading the Musée de l’Orangerie, she’ll work closely with Christopher Leribault, who was recently named the head of the Musée d’Orsay, filling a post left vacant by Laurence Des Cars, who is now directing the Louvre.

Among Bernardi’s recent curatorial credits is “Chaïm Soutine / Willem de Kooning, la peinture incarnée,” which is now on view at the Musée de l’Orangerie and which she organized with Simonetta Fraquelli, of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, where the show was first mounted. Writing in Art in America, Ginger Danto said that the show “traced the relationship between two partner institutions” in addition to creating a dialogue between the two artists.

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Prior to joining the Musée d’Orsay in 2012, Bernardi had been a curator at the Centre national des arts plastiques in Paris. Also among the shows she curated are “Gauguin the alchemist,” a 2017–18 survey held at the Grand Palais, and “Picasso, Blue and Rose,” a show about those two periods of the artist’s career staged at the Musée d’Orsay in 2018.

Roselyne Bachelot, the French Minister of Culture, said in a release announcing Bernardi’s appointment that the new Musée de l’Orangerie head would undertake “contemporary rereadings of the collection.” Bernardi will do so with an eye toward “the international development of the institution,” Bachelot added.


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