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The Syndicat National des Antiquaires (National Federation of Antique Dealers) and its acting president Mathias Ary Jan have the immense pleasure of hosting a prestigious exhibition for the newest edition of the fair.

With its will to bring (back) the collector to the center of the project, the SNA also wishes to pay tribute to Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller.

The exhibition will be, in effect, an unusual, original and thoughtful celebration of the passion of an art collector and of the heritage of art.

It will comprise groups of major and emblematic works from the collections of Gabriel (the art of Samurais), Stéphane (stamps and 18th century painting) and Thierry (contemporary art) Barbier-Mueller, all placed in dialogue with works that issue from the collections of their grandfather Josef Mueller, their mother Monique and their father Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller.

Resulting from the impressive collecting work of Diane Barbier-Mueller, who constitutes the fourth generation of this family, a selection of original editions from the 17th and 18th centuries will also be exhibited.

The works unveiled at La Biennale Paris are masterpieces, remarkable historical works — and some of them have never before been seen by the public.

The exhibition will be a one-of-a-kind occasion to witness, united together, the collections of four generations of great collectors, with the backdrop of the Grand Palais. The setting has been conceived to offer total immersion into an intimate relationship with the collectors

Laurence Mattet, General Director of the Barbier-Mueller Museum







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This collection of artworks is exceptional for its scope and its diversity: it was begun by Josef Mueller in 1907, continued by his daughter Monique and his son-in-law Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, and it is pursued today by their children and grandchildren.

These masterworks from civilizations around the world (antique and tribal art, modern and contemporary painting, coin collections, bibliophilia) are exhibited in the Grand Palais on the occasion of La Biennale Paris.

Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller passed away at the end of 2016, at the moment when his museum was about to celebrate its 40th anniversary in Geneva, and when, in Paris, La Biennale Paris was preparing itself to celebrate his family’s passionate collections.

The art book that will accompany the exhibition at the Grand Palais will allow visitors to discover how a taste for art, letters, history and world cultures was passed down from generation to generation. This inherited passion inspired the Barbier-Mueller to compose an ensemble of works that constitute a tremendous homage to universal beauty.

Monique Barbier-Mueller herself recalls the formidable artistic adventure she lived beside her father, and then her husband, and which her children continue to pursue today with great ardor: Gabriel, Thierry, and Stéphane, as well as her grand-daughter Diane. Beyond the value of the works themselves, the history of their acquisition is a veritable exploration of the universe of art and of its most passionate collectors.


From Ferdinand Holder to Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, from coins from the Russian empire to Samurai armors, from an antique Greek statue to an original book from Molière’s École des femmes and including invaluable works of primitive art from Africa and Oceania, the encyclopedic character of the Barbier-Mueller collections offers an extraordinary journey through time, space, and the human spirit.