Laurence des Cars, the director of Paris’s Musée de l’Orangerie, has been appointed as the new director of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. She replaces Guy Cogeval who steps down after nine years on 15 March.
Des Cars was a curator at the Musée d’Orsay from 1994 to 2007 when she was appointed head of Agence France-Muséums, the French government body responsible for delivering the Louvre Abu Dhabi project (the new museum is scheduled to open later this year in the United Arab Emirates). She became the director of the Musée de l’Orangerie in January 2014.
A statement issued by the French Ministry of Culture says that Des Cars plans to “strengthen the museum’s place worldwide, building on partnerships with major international institutions”.
During his tenure, Cogeval oversaw a re-hang of the collection, major renovation work, and a merger with the Musée de l’Orangerie. After he leaves, he will direct a research centre on Symbolist art and Les Nabis—the group of post-Impressionist artists—linked to the museum. The new centre will also house a library and archives due to be transferred from the museum. The move makes way for the display of works donated last year by the US couple Spencer and Marlene Hays, who gave more than 600 post-Impressionist works to the museum. Cogeval was instrumental in securing the Hays donation.
The other candidates shortlisted for the directorship were Sylvain Amic, the director of museums in Rouen; Dominique de Font-Réaulx, the director of the Musée Delacroix in Paris; and Michel Draguet, the director-general of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.