25 years: this is the age of the title of Master of Art that the Ministry of Culture gives every two years to a dozen professionals of crafts. This anniversary coincides with the ministry’s 60th anniversary.

This title, which has today distinguished more than 140 Masters of Art has been particularly valued this year: our best French craftsmen with rare and precious know-how, ambassadors of French excellence, have been honored by photographic campaigns and video documentaries orchestrated by the National Institute of Crafts and through two exhibitions: one organized by the Association of Masters of Art and their Students and installed at the Hotel de l'Industrie; the other by the National Institute of Crafts and presented to the Ministry of Culture, in the galleries of the Palais-Royal in December 2019.

When he was born, the title of Master of Art was inspired by Japan’s living national treasures. He very quickly set himself the obligation to transmit to a Student. Having become a transmission system, it contributes to the preservation and enhancement of living heritage and the development of territories. The system ensures the sustainability of nearly 100 businesses that are evocative of our country’s heritage and creation. It aims as much to transmit trades as passions to the younger generation: archetier, ironworker, engraver, watchmaker, lapidary, goldsmith, piano restorer or locksmith are all trades rewarded this year. There is also a makhila manufacturer.

The system is becoming more and more feminized: in the class of 2019, there are 6 female students for 3 male students. The generational renewal of craft professionals is synonymous with its feminization.

Entrusted to the Institut National des Métiers d'Art and thanks to the unwavering support of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, the Ministry of Culture maintains this exceptional system for the integration of young art craftsmen, the Masters of Art Students.

2019 is also a pivotal year for government policy dedicated to crafts and living heritage. The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Economy and Finance bring together crafts and living heritage in a new organization that will be launched in a few weeks.

At 25, the title of Master of Art is still young, full of hope and maturity, like the new generations of professionals. I wish a very happy birthday to all those who received it and who defend it.

Franck Riester, Minister of Culture