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The Making of the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages

With Séverine Lepape, Director

  • Thursday, February 1, 2024

  • On Zoom • in English

  • 12:00 p.m. Chicago (CST) / 1:00 p.m. Miami (EST) / 19h Paris

  • $10 Member / $20 Non-member • $60 Series of 7 for members only

  • Entrée Libre / Free for students* • You MUST register with an .edu address to get a Zoom link for the event.

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Séverine Lepape, Director of the Cluny Museum, will explain how in 1843 the French state purchased the 15th century residence of the abbots of Cluny together with Alexandre Du Sommerard’s collection of medieval and Renaissance objets d’art; how the museum’s collection grew to include objets d’art from Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, including the acquisition in 1882 of the famous series of six tapestries entitled “The Lady and the Unicorn” (“La Dame à la licorne”), dating from around 1500; how the museum transferred its Renaissance collection to the newly formed Musée National de la Renaissance located outside Paris in the Château d’Écouen in 1977, and officially became the National Museum of the Middle Ages in 1992; and how the museum underwent extensive renovation and expansion works that lasted seven years, reopening in 2022 with a new visitor route that is arranged chronologically, with themed insertions.

Every Thursday at 12pm Central Time in Chicago/1 pm Eastern Time in Miami/19h Central European Time in Paris – From January 11 through February 22, 2024

Following the success of Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Ile-de-France, The Making of the French Gardens and The Great Churches of Paris series of online talks, our curator extraordinaire, Russell Kelley returns to offer an enthralling new series about an essential pillar of France’s cultural heritage: the extraordinary museums that were established in Paris starting during the Revolution and continuing through the end of the 19th century. We know you will love The Making of the Great Museums of Paris!

A Specialist in medieval iconography and Nordic and French graphic arts of the 15th and 16th centuries, Séverine Lepape has a double degree in history and medieval history. In 2005, she was appointed curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. In October 2014, she joined the Musée du Louvre as curator in charge of the Edmond de Rothschild collection in the Department of Graphic Arts, and also gave lectures at the École des Chartes, the École du Louvre and the Institut National du Patrimoine. She is the author of many books and articles, and curated several exhibitions, including the Mystérieux coffrets (Mysterious Boxes) exhibition at the Musée de Cluny from September 18, 2019 to January 6, 2020, with Michel Huynh and Caroline Vrand. On September 6, 2019, Séverine Lepape was appointed Director of the Musée national du Moyen Âge de Cluny, succeeding Élisabeth Taburet-Delahaye.

Russell Kelley is the curator and moderator of the past three winter’s Zoom lecture series on the Grands Châteaux of the Loire and Ile-de-France , The Making of the French Gardens and The Great Churches of Paris. He has lived in Paris for 30 years and is the author of The Making of Paris: The Story of How Paris Evolved from a Fishing Village into the World’s Most Beautiful City (Globe Pequot Press, 2021), and has lived in Paris for 30 years.

Support and Save! Become an Alliance Française member for as little as $60 if you are a French teacher and $85 a year for a Library + Culture membership. 

*Through our Entrée Libre initiative, free admission to this series is offered to students enrolled in French Studies in universities and French schools in Chicago and the Midwest. Students MUST register with .edu address

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