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The Louvre during the War - Photographs 1938-1947; Exhibition 7 May - 31 August 2009, Musée du Louvre, Paris

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Through a remarkable grouping of 56 photographs, this exhibition invited visitors to discover the life of the Louvre during the Second World War.                

Bringing together French and German images taken between 1938 and 1947, many of which have never before been on public display, it offered a new perspective on the evacuation and the later re-installation of works amid the upheavals of war.

Two major discoveries were on view for the very first time: the collection of the photographer Pierre Jahan, acquired by the Louvre in 2005, and a series of photographs found in the Koblenz municipal archives documenting what became known as the “Louvre sequestration”: the requisitioning of rooms in the palace by the Nazis for the storage and sorting of works plundered from the collections of prominent Jewish families and art dealers in France. Other photographs, attributed to press agencies or independent professional or amateur photographers of the 1940s, helped to put these images in perspective.

The exhibition also provided an opportunity to appreciate the talents of three photographers: Pierre Jahan shares with Laure Albin-Guillot and Marc Vaux a technique little used in the present day. Immersed in the artistic culture of the thirties and forties, their photographs offer today’s visitors a singular vision of the Louvre haunted by its collections.

This exhibition was sponsored by Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd and is in the Sully Wing, salle de la Maquette, ground floor.

Exhibition catalogue:
Co-published by Musée du Louvre Editions and Le Passage
Edited by Guillaume Fonkenell

Monday, June 8 at 12:30 p.m.
in the Auditorium du Louvre Presentation of the exhibition by Guillaume Fonkenell

Curator(s) : Guillaume Fonkenell, curator, Department of Sculptures and museum historian, Musée du Louvre

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