Daniel Cordier, former secretary of Jean Moulin and a leading figure in the Resistance during the Second World War, was also a painter and collector. Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin salutes the memory of this personality who marked history and contributed greatly, through his generosity, to the enrichment of public modern art collections in France.

Initiated by Jean Moulin to modern art, of which he would become an important promoter, Daniel Cordier continued from his first purchase of a painting by Jean Dewasne in 1946 to collect works, with an eclectic taste. It is at the origin of one of the largest donations of works of art to the French State.

In 1956 he opened his first gallery in Paris and during this period launched many artists. In 1973, he became a member of the purchasing committee of the Musée National d'Art Moderne (MNAM), the future Centre Georges Pompidou, of which he was one of the founding members, and the idea of a donation came to him as a result of this experience. It will be constituted by its initial collection but also by successive purchases explicitly intended for the museum.

This donation is the largest ever made to the National Museum of Modern Art, which includes graphic works by artists he defended, such as Dubuffet, Michaux, Brassaï, Dado… A very large part of the donation is deposited in Toulouse, at the Musée-FRAC des Abattoirs, in accordance with the donor’s wishes.

It will be presented to the public during an exhibition in 1989 at the Centre Pompidou, then in June 2005 in Toulouse, with the exhibition "Merci Monsieur Cordier", which offers a complete overview of this ensemble.

A new donation comes in 2009, consisting of 90 objects outside Europe: Africa, India, China, New Guinea, etc. as well as several major works of modern art, including Dubai, Hantaï, and Morris. That year, the exhibition "Les désordres du plaisir", presented jointly at the Centre Pompidou and at the Abattoirs, formalized these new donations.

For Cordier, it was also important to leave the traces of the resistant memory to posterity. This is what determined him to donate his archives to the National Archives in 2008. They are one of the most precious testimonies to this decisive period in our common history.

He was one of the last two surviving companions of the Liberation.

The Minister of Culture extends her condolences to his family and loved ones.