Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Louis Vuitton

Fashion house Louis Vuitton has announced plans to establish a €100 million art foundation in Paris . The museum that will house LVMH's art collection, as well as temporary exhibitions, has been designed by architect Frank Gehry and will be located in the Jardin d'Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne . “With the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, we wanted to create an exceptional venue for Art and Culture in Paris ,” said LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault. “It will be driven by what has always been our group's motivation: classicism and a break with the past, tradition and innovation.” Building will commence next year and the opening should take place in 2009 or 2010. Both Gehry as well as Louis Vuitton's creative director Marc Jacobs were at the presentation of the plans. “I am particularly honoured that Bernard Arnault and Yves Carcelle chose me to design and carry out the architectural project for this Foundation which will give concrete expression to years of exceptional patronage LVMH and Louis Vuitton in favour of arts and artists from all walks of life.”

The foundation will host at least two exhibitions each year, ranging from master works by Picasso to the dress that Christian Dior designed for the Duchess of Windsor. Arnault also said there would be an auditorium which would host musical events. Yves Carcelle, chief executive of Louis Vuitton, talked about the history the brand shares with the art world. In recent years it has collaborated with several artists. Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse designed bags for the label, while the art works of James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson adorn the Louis Vuitton boutique interiors.

Arnault's major competitor Francois Pinault purchased Palazzo Grassi in Venice , where his extensive contemporary art collection can be admired since its opening in May. Pinault had tried to open an art foundation on the Ile Seguin in Paris , but was met with insurmountable paperwork. Arnault said he had encountered similar obstacles, but has nevertheless managed to realize his goal.

He said that LVMH would continue its patronage of the arts. For the past 15 years the group has sponsored 26 art exhibitions in France . Furthermore, the public will have free access to the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation.

From Fashion United

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