Fondation Louis Vuitton

26 January 2021

© Gehry Partners, LLP and Frank O. Gehry - Photo © Iwan Baan, 2014.jpeg
© Gehry Partners, LLP and Frank O. Gehry - Photo © Iwan Baan, 2014

Fondation Louis Vuitton is a Founding Patron of CIMAM since 2009. CIMAM has developed and grown thanks to the support of generous and passionate individuals and institutions like Fondation Louis Vuitton. CIMAM has also a very special connection through Ms. Suzanne Pagé, Director of Fondation Louis Vuitton pour la Création, and current Honorary Member of CIMAM. We are very grateful for their solid support to CIMAM, and for that reason, we want our members and readers to know better the spirit and aims of Fondation Louis Vuitton and its relationship with modern and contemporary art.

November 2020

What is the nature of your activity, and what actions and projects link you to the world of culture and art?

LVMH is the world leader in high quality products. Our group was created in 1987 by its Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. He has brought together an exceptional portfolio of over 70 maisons that are emblematic of a unique French and European art de vivre, spanning champagnes, wines and spirits, fashion and leather goods, watches and jewelry, perfumes and cosmetics. Dior, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon, Fendi, Hennessy, Guerlain and others all embody the very best of French and European culture.

LVMH has also since its founding actively pursued a significant corporate philanthropy agenda, supporting the arts, culture and youth education, as well as major humanitarian and scientific efforts. Part of the group’s business success thus benefits very tangible and useful initiatives that serve the general interest and contribute to the common good, both in France and around the world. This commitment to philanthropy figures at the heart of the corporate purpose articulated by Bernard Arnault and reflects LVMH’s core values.

What are your company's values, mission and vision, and at what level does modern and contemporary art act as a channel or platform to communicate your value proposition?

Our business success is underpinned by strong values shared by all our maisons: the quality, enduring excellence and virtuosity of our savoir-faire is continually passed on to new generations of artisans, combined with technological innovation and the creativity of our artistic directors. Whether we’re talking about Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, the new digital watch from TAG Heuer or the architecture of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris designed by Frank Gehry, the same shared cultural and creative values enable us to continually move forward, to act, to dare and to propose new ways to engage with our world.

This vision is in fact very similar to that of artists! Our maisons and artists inspire one another. One good example is Louis Vuitton, which has seen amazing planetary success with “pop” reinterpretations of its mythic Monograph canvas by Takashi Murakami, or the leather goods collection created by Jeff Koons in tribute to past masters. In the other direction, the haute couture collections of Christian Dior and his successors have celebrated Watteau, Degas and Picasso, or collaborated with contemporary artists such as Doug Aitken or Sterling Ruby.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris now symbolizes this dialogue with the creative talents of our era across all disciplines.

What is your mission to support the arts and contemporary art museums in particular, and what results would you like to see your contribution achieve in the future?

Both the boldness of architecture and the quality of the artistic program of the Fondation Louis Vuitton have earned it a prominent position in the global cultural landscape. Since its opening in 2014, the Foundation has already welcomed over six million visitors! To organize memorable exhibitions in Paris including masterpieces from MoMA, the Courtauld collection or the Basquiat, Charlotte Perriand and Cindy Sherman retrospectives, the Foundation has forged close relations anchored in mutual confidence with the world’s leading museums and the most prestigious public and private collections.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton has given a permanent structure to our philanthropy policy, which is guided by a long-term vision and a spirit of transcending borders to contribute to a more open and harmonious world. The upcoming Morozov exhibition set for next spring illustrates this approach. It will bring together an exceptional collection of masterpieces from the Pushkin and Hermitage museums, a little over three years after the record-breaking success of the Shchukin exhibition and is expected to be one of the major blockbuster events on the 2021 cultural calendar. In this period marked by a pandemic and uncertainties, we are very clearly envisioning a positive future!

Which of CIMAM´s projects do you think are best aligned with your action plan to support museums and modern and contemporary art collections?

As you’ve seen, we share the priority CIMAM places on support for museums and artists, especially during these challenging times. With the pandemic and serious limitations on exchanges in the international art scene, contemporary creations face an unprecedented crisis. And yet we need art and culture more than ever. Despite the very difficult economic context, by continuing our philanthropy initiatives and by developing new projects for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, we are resolutely affirming our commitment to the world of culture and the arts, to both institutions and artists alike.