Health and Safety
Event hero image

The Making of the Louvre Museum

With Françoise Mardrus, Director of Museum Studies and Research Support Department

  • Thursday, January 18, 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.

This event has passed

Cet évènement est passé


The Louvre Museum was the first public museum created in France and is the largest art museum in the world. Françoise Mardrus, Director of Museum Studies and Research Support Department at the Louvre and co-editor of the definitive three-volume Histoire du Louvre (2016), will tell the story how the Central Museum of the Arts was created in 1793, one year to the day after Louis XVI vacated the premises; how its collection expanded with artwork plundered by Napoléon during his many conquests (known as “art de la conquête”), when the museum was renamed the Musée Napoléon; how its collection shrank after Waterloo when the looted artworks were returned to their rightful owners, but was rebuilt and expanded again and again over the next 150 years until the Grand Louvre project of François Mitterrand, which culminated with the inauguration of I.M. Pei’s iconic Pyramide du Louvre in 1989 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Revolution, moved the museum to another level. The Louvre is now the largest museum in the world, covering nearly 10,000 years of history.

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!

Françoise Mardrus joined the Musée du Louvre in 1988 to help design the Grand Louvre museographic project, coordinating the work of curators, architects and the contracting authority. From 1990 to 1997, Françoise Mardrus was assistant to the head of the museographic works department, then project manager for the Louvre Museum Management, coordinating the museum’s major projects as well as the architectural and museographic development of the Louvre Palace and Tuileries Gardens. In 2013, Françoise Mardrus piloted the prefiguration of the Centre Dominique-Vivant Denon, a place of study and research dedicated to the history of the Louvre and museums, which hosts regular events and organizes scientific events as part of partnerships with universities and museums. She has been its director since 2015. Françoise Mardrus is an Officier des Arts et Lettres.

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

Our event partners


Share this page