Eric de Chassey, an art historian appointed to the Villa Medicis

7/9/09 – Appointment – Rome, Académie de France – The Villa Medicis is not a favor to be handed out to friends not qualified for this distinction. Therefore, we can only rejoice at the appointment by the president of the French Republic and as suggested by the Minister of Culture, of Eric de Chassey at the head of this institution.

Born in Pittsburgh (U.S.A.), he has been a professor at the University of Tours since 1999. He is the author of several works devoted to the 19th century, notably on American art, Matisse, photography and Abstract art. Recently, he organized, along with Sylvie Ramond, an exhibition titled Repartir à zero at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon which we did not review on this site as it did not fall in our time period, but which was extremely well received by critics.

Frédéric Mitterand’s brief stay in Rome no doubt convinced him of the importance of the Académie de France there and of the need to appoint a competent director. A specialist of Contemporary art and art historian, Eric de Chassey embodies all the right qualifications to head the Villa. We can only hope that he will continue to enhance the heritage of this building as well as its policy of colloquia, publications and exhibitions, while at the same time balancing classical and contemporary art.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 7 septembre 2009

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