A major 21st century museum project.

Nearly two centuries after it was founded, the Musée d’arts de Nantes is on the brink of a new era. In addition to breathing new life into a heritage institution, Director and Curator Sophie Lévy, is keen to make the new museum a living, accessible, outward-facing venue for the city and its inhabitants, and to showcase its status as a major French museum.

In order to bring these aims to fruition, the team at the Musée d’arts de Nantes is focusing on three main themes:

A museum which uses contemporary art to cast light on paintings from the past
It is a cultural institution which has an uninterrupted history of engagement with contemporary art. The policy of making continuous acquisitions since the 1980s has built up one of the finest national contemporary art collections.

A museum with links to the American continent
Great emphasis is placed on fostering the fertile, long-standing and multifaceted relationship with the American continent, by cultivating links via the collections, exhibitions and collaborative projects.

A museum mirroring the city
Just like the city of Nantes, the museum can look back on a rich history and forwards towards its plans for the present and future. Exhibitions cast light, for example, on the role played by Nantes in the national and international history of art.


The primary aim is for the museum not just to be a place for discovering art, but also a cultural venue with a programme of events, hosting a number of activities and putting visitors at the heart of its new plan.

This can be achieved via:

> an accessible museum offering equal access to art and culture for all: a building comprehensively redesigned to offer accessibility, a specially tailored visitor route and facilitation tools, bespoke events, and community projects to promote social cohesion.

> opening hours tailored to city life: opening hours from 11am to 7pm, with late-night opening on Thursdays until 9pm. Special slots for schoolchildren from 9am to 11am.

> three major highlights per year to raise the profile of the museum programme: two major temporary exhibitions and a contemporary art installation scheduled for spring, summer and autumn.

> a variety of cultural events. Tours, lectures, music, dance, workshops, tour of the day, brunch, etc.: outreach activities for young people, students and working people, special sessions for families and young children, outreach to people who do not usually visit museums.

> user-friendly digital tools: the Ma Visite mobile phone app guides visitors round a themed route and offers a number of personalised services; a giant touch screen to learn about a work in depth (L’œuvre à la loupe - Work under the magnifying glass); information and orientation terminals; social networks, and a website to access current museum news, tour the collections and buy a ticket online.

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