Madagascar, Arts de la Grande Ile, the exhibition at Paris Musée du Quai Branly: pictures

From September 18, 2018 to January 1, 2019, the Musée du Quai Branly dedicates a compelling exhibition to Madagascar, the first exhibition in France to question the history of Art of the Big island. For this major exhibition, over 360 works will be brought together in the museum’s areas especially chosen for their historic and ethnologic interest.

The exhibition Madagascar, l’art de la Grande Ile [Madagascar, the art of the Big Island], displayed at the Musée du Quai Branly from September 18, 2018 to January 1, 2019, is an event, it’s the first time since 1946 that an exhibition returns on the entire Malagasy art as a whole, questioning what we still have to discover. 

For this exhibition dedicated to art in Madagascar, over 350 pieces have been brought together for their historic, aesthetic and ethnologic interest and included in a tour thought up in 3 sections – the history of the island, the art in the daily life and the sacred art, the one related to the world of spirits.

Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly

The first part of the exhibition tries to put Madagascar in the space. Madagascar is a big island set off the African coasts, a crossroad of civilizations offering an exceptional environment. Peoples from Africa and Austronesia came between the 5th and the 8th centuries bringing rice, yam, coconut trees as well as steers, goats and sheep.

Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly

We also discover how important the house decoration is. Each room displays decors sculpted in wood said to protect the inhabitants and bring luck: as soon as you enter, but also in the bedrooms and the kitchens. Their belief in powerful forces is ubiquituous: Malagasies are used to consult an ombiasy, a soothsayer and healer, who makes mohara remedies put in ody amulets. The remedy should not be drank, but kept in the north-east corner of the house said to be sacred.

Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly

Another highlight of life is the death of someone close. In Madagascar, deceased people get all the honors with impressive graves. Funeral poles called aloalos are sculpted with traditional patterns, human figures or figurative scenes telling the life of the deat.

 Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly Exposition Madagascar au musée du Quai Branly

So that means we (re)learn that Madagascar is a very big island remained for a long time as a crossroad of influences of the African, Arabian, Indian and south-east Asian regions and objects from the daily life are realized without any excess, “useful shapes” submitted to vintana, the Madagascan zodiac defining the boundary between the living world and the world of the spirits and ancestors….

A beautiful exhibition to discover this island!

Elodie D.
Last updated on 23 October 2018

Practical information

Opening Time
From 18 September 2018 to 1 January 2019

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    Location

    Quai Branly (face au musée)
    75007 Paris 7

    Prices
    exposition, tarif réduit: 7 €
    musée + exposition, tarif réduit: 9 €
    exposition, tarif plein: 10 €
    musée + exposition, tarif plein: 12 €

    Official website
    www.quaibranly.fr

    More information
    Horaires : 11h-19h, nocturne jusqu'à 21h jeudi, vendredi et samedi
    Fermé le lundi

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