The National Institute of Art History, an institution on all fronts

On November 28, 2022, the Institute of Arts and Law welcomed Eric de Buretel de Chassey, Director General of the National Institute of Art History (INHA) since 2016. In particular, he states that the institution carries out a number of research programs, particularly related to the question of provenance, and has one of the largest collections of art history.

Born in the USA, Eric de Buretel de Chassey, who holds a Ph.D., attended Normale Sup’ and Sciences Po. First a teacher, he then directed the Villa Medici before taking the helm of the National Institute for the History of Art (INHA). .

He informs that if INHAIt has existed only since 2001, the beginning of its construction coincides with the 1970s. Library. Andre Chastel (1912-1990) and Jacques Thuilliez (1928-2011) wrote the first reports that laid the foundations of the institute.

Various research programs

Éric de Buretel de Chassey explains that among its main missions, the institution carries out various research programs. They respect the simple principles: to systematically connect the university with the institution under the Ministry of Culture; but also to require local digital measurement on each project.

Normally, programs should have a maximum lifespan of eight years. But as an example, the first of them, founded by Michel Laclotte (1929-2021), created a catalog of Italian works in French collections. 20 years later, it is still not complete and regular monitoring is required.

Director General of INHA shows that few studies are concerned with questions of origin. One of them thus refers to the actors of the national art market during the German occupation, and the other lists the African and Oceanic collections in France.

In addition, the Institute is a member of the network of art history institutes. One of its ongoing dossiers aims to define European art history and involves all 46 member states of the Council of Europe. Principle? Each designates 20 works representing the continent’s history (history to date), 10 national works and 10 foreign works. The aim is to describe the culture of Europe in a concrete way. This work shows that each country has its own view of nationality and its view of the rest of the world. The Council of Europe includes Azerbaijan and Armenia in particular. ” Discussions are sometimes intense Eric de Buretel de Chassey confesses.

One of the largest collections in the history of art

Director General of INHA adds that the Institute has a large fund of documentary resources and it ensures conservation. According to him, the INHA library benefits from a smaller budget than many institutions elsewhere in the world, but it nevertheless offers one of the largest collections of books and journals on the history of art and heritage.

Its doors are open to art professionals, academics and postgraduates in art history, art, architecture, design and more. open to students studying free of charge. The research library takes only 400 seats per day.

INHA, an institute that seeks changes in society

Éric de Buretel de Chassey argues that: INHA also wants to be a disseminator of culture. He argues that art history is a living science when it is deeply connected to changes in society. The CEO believes that this relationship is not considered passive. Art history listens to what society asks of it, while at the same time offering new questions or perhaps more complex answers. To this end, the annual art history festival at Fontainebleau emphasizes a great effort in operations aimed at the general public, such as Art Between the Lines (monthly discussions are broadcast on YouTube) and even in collaboration with the Ministry. National Education, tools for teaching art history from kindergarten to senior year. ” In a world completely saturated with imagesEric de Buretel de Chassey wonders, Unfortunately, not showing children or adults how to subtly perceive images. Art history seems to be the right vehicle for this learning. »

Cyril de Montis

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