The Société des Amis du Musée du Luxembourg (“Society of the Friends of the Luxembourg Museum”), created in 1903, became the Société des Amis du Musée national d’art moderne (“Society of the Friends of the National Museum of Modern Art”) in 1947.
The Friends of the Centre Pompidou are the first patrons of the Musée National d’art moderne — Centre Pompidou and for 100 years have conducted major activities of patronage on behalf of the national collections. The members are invited to participate in the enrichment and dissemination of the collections of one of the most important museums in the world. They benefit from an extensive monthly programming, as well as special opportunities to meet artists and influential figures in the world of contemporary and modern art.
The Friends of the Centre Pompidou offer different categories of membership, according to each member’s desires and involvement.
Four acquisition committees allow the most involved members to be invested in the life of the museum through specific artistic regions or media, and to participate in the cultural debate by getting involved alongside curators in the selection process for new acquisitions: the International Circle (CI), Acquisition Group for Contemporary Art (GAAC), Acquisition Group for Photography (GAP), and Acquisition Group for Design (GAD).
The initial mission of the Société des Amis du Luxembourg (“Society of the Friends of the Luxembourg Museum”), written into its bylaws, was to “contribute to the enrichment of the Musée du Luxembourg.” By 1905 the Society was already giving a considerable number of works of art to the Museum and supporting its collecting policy for new acquisitions.
Charles Pacquement, President of the Society from 1924 to 1950, acquired official recognition for the Society as serving the public interest. He founded, in parallel, L’Association des amis des artistes vivants (“The Association of Friends of Living Artists”), which supported the creation of contemporary works and organized exhibitions of new acquisitions. This Association was finally folded into the Société des Amis du Luxembourg.
In 1947, the Musée national d’art moderne (Mnam), combining the collections of the Musée du Luxembourg and those of the Jeu de Paume, was inaugurated. The Société des Amis du Luxembourg thus became the Société des Amis du Musée National d’Art Moderne (“Society of the Friends of the National Museum of Modern Art”).
The gifts of the Société des Amis du Mnam rejoined the new building of the Centre Pompidou, with the exception of works created by artists born before 1870. Those were integrated into the collection of the Musée d’Orsay.
With the support of Dominique Bozo, director of the Mnam, Sylvie Boissonnas began to put together the “Parallel Collection,” which displayed works selected by one or two members every year between 1984 and 1991. Most of this parallel collection was eventually integrated into the collections of the Musée national d’art moderne.
Under her presidency, objects were created that were designed specifically by artists and produced by the association.
The PAC initiative was launched within the larger framework of the Museum’s project to seek out and acquire the most significant works of contemporary art. The members of the committee—which numbered 17 in 2002— along with the director of the Museum Alfred Pacquement, and the curators involved in the project, choose and make well-argued proposals for new acquisitions in order to enrich the museum’s collections. In 2016 the PAC became the Acquisition Group for Contemporary Art (GAAC). It currently consists of about 50 members, art lovers and collectors.
Set up in the Museum’s galleries of modern art, this first edition was organized for the 100th anniversary of the association. The gala dinner, given on behalf of the collections of the Centre Pompidou, became a yearly tradition in 2006. Since 2017, the Friends of the Centre Pompidou have entrusted an artist with the event’s artistic direction.
The members of Perspective choose at the end of every year, under the guidance of a curator, the work or works that will become, thanks to their contributions, a part of the Centre Pompidou collections. Perspective currently consists of 150 members.
Jacques Boissonnas launches a movement to open the Association to donors from all over the world, in parallel to the international development of the Centre Pompidou.
In 2015, in close collaboration with the Photography Department, the Society of the Friends launches the Acquisition Group for Photography, on the occasion of the opening of the Photography Gallery in the Centre Pompidou.
On the occasion of the exhibition Pierre Paulin at the Centre Pompidou, it is decided to open the GAD. The group has as its mission to enrich the Museum’s design collection, and to follow the cross-disciplinary policy of the institution.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Centre Pompidou, the Friends of the Centre Pompidou organizes, around the FIAC, You × Art × Centre Pompidou, a unique evening in honor of the donors and patrons of the institution.