Dear Laurent Wauquiez, Minister of Higher Education and Research, Dear Patrick Gérard, Dear Rector of the Académie de Paris, Dear Antoinette Le Normand, Dear Director General of the Institut National d'Histoire de l'ArtRoman,Ladies and Gentlemen,Dear Friends,

The National Institute of Art History is celebrating its tenth anniversary today, and I
I am very pleased that we are gathered today, with my colleague
Laurent Wauquiez, to measure the progress made: the history of art in
France, which has long suffered from a lack of visibility and
recognition, has significantly strengthened its place in the
And it owes much to your institution.

For several decades, many of us have observed
of this paradox that Laurent Wauquiez has just evoked:
tradition and prestige of the great French museums and their exhibitions,
the history of art was present in the cultural life of the
French, but it had long been neglected as a
full share. It is in this context, where France has experienced a real delay
compared to other major European countries and the United States, that
the National Institute of Art History was created, after a long period of
gestation in 2001.

In 1983, a report was submitted to the Prime Minister on the need to
create in France a real institute of art history comparable to those
that already existed abroad. This report was signed by André Chastel. The
centenary of the birth of this great humanist of the twentieth century is inscribed
national commemorations 2012 and, it is appropriate to
This is the first time that an art historian has received this honour.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the INHA is therefore a great opportunity to greet the
memory of this major figure in the history of art, to which a
organized with the Institut de France will be
dedicated here in November 2012.

Last year, on the occasion of the Marc de Montalembert Award,
I had the opportunity, meeting with the INHA management team and the
young French and foreign researchers who are welcomed, to measure the
your establishment. Since its creation, and thanks to its
action, it must be recognized that the situation of art history in France has
began to change in depth.

The INHA is already internationally recognised as one of the
major institutes of art history in the world. He is the interlocutor of
prestigious centres such as the Courtauld Institute in England, the
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Germany or Getty Research
Institute in the United States; it is also important for major universities where
is taught the history of art. The INHA thus contributes to our influence
in an area of growing importance
public. It is in this spirit that I have contributed to the
the revival of the Focillon Fellowship, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
created in the 1950s in memory of the great art historian
Henri Focillon died at Yale in 1943, and is now awarded
annually by the French Committee on Art History, thus renewing the thread
a transatlantic cooperation with one of the most prestigious
Ivy League universities.

On the other hand, INHA’s work actively contributes to bringing the world closer together
museums and the heritage of university research -
two worlds that for too long have been ignored or kept apart. From
people of different backgrounds, training and sensitivities work
now together on a daily basis in teams that benefit
fully of this diversity of profiles.

There are many examples of this new dynamic. We could
mention temporary exhibitions to design and catalogues
which INHA has made an important contribution to: I am thinking
New Realism at the Grand Palais in 2007; Goya engravings
exhibited at the Petit Palais Museum in 2008; Champagne sculpture
in Troyes in 2009; or at the three exhibitions on
the medieval illumination that will be held next year in the museums of
Toulouse, Lille and Blois. There are also major censuses,
as the Directory of Italian paintings in the collections
which has mobilized specialists from all walks of life, and
which is available online.

I would also like to mention the fact that the INHA welcomes in its walls,
since 2010, territorial conservatives who can continue
for several months their research in good conditions of
work. The history of art is indeed and above all trades - a
In addition to the intrinsic multidisciplinary nature of the
the discipline highlighted by Laurent Wauquiez earlier. Their
for historical and administrative reasons, may be
rather diverse: the important thing is that they can have a place of reference, where
work on common projects. It is this function that
the INHA fully fills. The immediate proximity, in the Colbert Gallery,
of the National Heritage Institute and its Heritage Training
also has very beneficial effects: it generates
more and more successful collaborations between the two

To celebrate this first decade of existence, the best gift that
the INHA could receive and make to its visitors was a work of art. It is
so very pleased that the National Centre for Visual Arts has accepted –
and I would like to thank Aude Baudet, who manages the collections – the
in the lobby of the establishment of a sculpture of Louise
Bourgeois, Welcome. This is a symbol of the mission of the Institute
national art history: to welcome all forms of research and to be
the present and the future of art. A work that is also
in line with Louise Bourgeois’s «nest» series: the INHA is a
nest for all trades related to art history.

One of the major projects of the INHA is of course the
reference library whose absence in France often led to
researchers to cross the Rhine, the English Channel or the Atlantic in search of
sources for their work. The renovation of the Richelieu
today one of the major projects of my department. At the end of the
which have already begun, the exceptional collections of the Library
national of France present in this high place of national memory
will benefit from new conservation and valorization conditions,
adapted to the requirements of our time. Joined by the Library
National Museum Centre, now at the Louvre Museum, and by
part of the collections of the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts,
the INHA Library can then redeploy itself in the beautiful room
Labrouste, familiar to users of the former National Library and
completely renovated, and offer to a wider audience of art historians and
of curators its very rich collections.

While much remains to be done to give the history of art all the
the place it deserves in France, I believe that we have nevertheless achieved
a point of no return. A milestone has been reached, and the
the History of Art, organized for the first time in Fontainebleau at the end of the
last May at the initiative of my department and with the support – I
want to highlight it here – from the Ministry of Higher Education and
Research, is I believe the obvious manifestation. There again, it is the INHA
which ensures its programming, and which guarantees its quality
scientists. I would like to thank once again the INHA, Florence
Buttay and his team, as well as the scientific committee of the Festival, placed
under the enlightened chairmanship of Alain Schnapp.

The need for such a demonstration has been felt for a long time. Its
objective is clear: to increase awareness of the multiple aspects of this
discipline, not only for teaching and research
and for the cultural life of the nation, whether it be
the world of the living arts, the world of publishing, or the media, in
for the general public, primary and secondary school teachers, and
secondary - at a time when the history of the arts is gradually making its
entry into compulsory school programmes from primary school
until high school -, and of course to all professionals in art history:
academics, independent researchers, curators, restaurateurs,
gallery owners, collectors, critics, publishers...

This first edition was a real success, as it brought in
about 15,000 people to whom not only
conferences, meetings-debates, workshops, but also a trade fair
book and art magazine, as well as a rich audiovisual programming.
The 2012 edition is already scheduled, in the same location and at the
the same time of year; the theme will be “travel” and
guest country, Germany.

The Festival de l'histoire de l'art thus contributes to giving a great
visibility to the background work being conducted by the INHA, in order to
our Italian friends, who were our guests last May in Fontainebleau,
call it the “savoir-voir”.

Finally, I would like to congratulate myself on what we shared with Laurent
Wauquiez as many subjects that are located at the meeting points between the
research, transmission, art and culture. I will mention this as
we are together this morning in a place marked by these ties,
the attention we both give to higher education
Culture and its schools, as you have seen in the speeches
of my colleague. Culture Colleges are now
fully recognized in higher education, in the
respect for their differences and specificities, while respecting the link
the trades and professions that characterize them. They
more and more with the University, especially within the Research Clusters
and higher education. This morning, the text of the
that we want to lead together to continue in this direction.
Our aim is first of all to reinforce these steps, by
deepening partnerships between institutions; it is also
reflect together on the evolutions of these collaborations. We have with
Laurent Wauquiez decided to entrust Jean de Saint Guilhem, Inspector
General Administration of National Education and Research,
but also former director of central administration of the Ministry of
Culture and Communication, a mission on
higher education Culture in the longer term, in a landscape of
French Higher Education, which is in full transformation. I am delighted
of this reflection, the usefulness of which seemed even more obvious to me when
I recently gathered the principals of all the colleges
Culture: it will allow us to quickly give body to
an idea that has made its way, that of the creation of a Conference of
Culture Colleges.

Thank you.