On 3 April, the Société des Amis du Musée du Luxembourg was founded, and in 1924 it was recognised as being of public utility. In 1947, the association became the Société des Amis du Musée national d'art moderne. The new articles of association state that the association should "encourage modern art in France, promote its dissemination and enrich the collections of the Musée national d'art in Paris and provincial museums". In 2017, the association became the Amis du Centre Pompidou.
The Amis du Centre Pompidou is a philanthropic association that supports the enrichment and the enhancement of the collections of the Musée national d'art moderne, of which it is the leading patron.
Thanks to the commitment of the Amis, major masterpieces have joined the Museum's collections, including Jackson Pollock's, The Deep in 1976, the first work by an American artist to enter French collections, Joan Miro's, Bleu I in 1984, and Jean-Michel Basquiat's Slave Auction in 1993, the only painting by the artist in the Museum's collections.
Over the years, the Amis have organised their support into research and acquisition groups. Today, the Amis du Centre Pompidou bring together 18 thematic and geographic research and acquisition groups, through which they provide a targeted and ambitious response to the Museum's cultural projects.
In 2023, to mark the 120th anniversary of the association, the book, Amis - 120 Years with the Musée National d’Art Moderne, co-published with the Centre Pompidou, retrace the shared history between the Museum and the Amis.
Creation of the association under the name of the Société des Amis du Luxembourg. The first mission, inscribed in the statutes of the Société des Amis du Luxembourg, was to “contribute to the enrichment of the Musée du Luxembourg”. As of 1905, it made significant donations of works and supported the Museum in its acquisition policy.
Charles Pacquement, Chair of the Société from 1924 to 1950, had the association legally recognised as being in the public interest. At the same time, he founded the Association des Amis des Artistes Vivants who support contemporary creation and organised, in addition, exhibitions of the artworks acquired. This association was eventually merged into the Société des Amis du Luxembourg.
In 1947, the Musée National d'Art Moderne was inaugurated, combining the collections of the Musée du Luxembourg and those of the Jeu de Paume. The Société des Amis du Luxembourg thus became the Société des Amis du Musée National d’Art Moderne.
The donations from the Société des Amis du MNAM were transferred to the new building of the Centre Pompidou, except for the artworks created by artists born prior to 1870, which were integrated within the collections of the Musée d’Orsay.
With the complicity of Dominique Bozo, Director of the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Sylvie Boissonnas initiated a new action: the “Parallel Collection”, bringing together artworks chosen by one or two members each year between 1984 and 1991. Most became part of the collections of the Musée National d'Art Moderne.
Under the helm of Hélène David-Weill, objects were created, designed especially by artists and published by the association.
The PAC fell within the framework of the museum’s policy of research and prospection, seeking to retain the most meaningful works of contemporary creation. The committee – which had seventeen members in 2002 – with the complicity of the museum’s director, Alfred Pacquement, curators involved in the project chose new acquisitions to enhance the museum’s collections and provided justification for their decisions. In 2016, the PAC became the Groupe d’Acquisition pour l’Art Contemporain. It has about fifty members: art lovers and collectors.
To celebrate the centenary of the Société des Amis du Musée National d’Art Moderne, a Gala Dinner was held in the modern art galleries of the museum. The Friends’ Gala Dinner, with proceeds put towards the collections of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, became an annual tradition in 2006.
The members of Perspective are young patrons under 40. They enjoy a programme of visits and excursions dedicated to them, in the evening, in digital format, and on weekends.
In response to the opening of the collections of the Musée national d’art modern toward international artists and artworks, the Amis initiate a dynamic of openness towards patrons across the globe. Today, the International Circle has nine chapter representing nine regions of the world.
The acquisition group dedicated to the enrichment of the collections of historical and contemporary photographs was created on the occasion of the opening of the photography gallery at the Musée National d'Art Moderne. The artworks acquired are presented in the framework of the programming of the photography gallery.
An acquisition group for design was created for the Pierre Paulin exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. The members of the Acquisition Group for Design contribute to the enhancement of the design collection and industrial prospective of the museum both at the historical and prospective levels. The creation of this acquisition group follows the institution’s transdisciplinary policy.
The Société des Amis du Musée National d'Art Moderne became the Amis du Centre Pompidou. It federates around nine hundred members.
For the 40 Years of the Centre Pompidou, the Amis du Centre Pompidou held, during FIAC, You × Art × Centre Pompidou, a magical evening in honour of the donors and patrons of the institution.
The IC-Latin America, IC-Central Europe, IC-Europe, and IC-Asia Pacific were created.
The Amis du Centre Pompidou sign an agreement with the American Friends, the two facilities share the same programmes.
The goal of Mission Recherche is to support research projects by young researchers oriented towards acquisition perspectives through field studies, the study of archives, and the creation of original interviews or translations. The researcher works under the direction of a curator. Each year between one and three research grants are funded.
CHANEL Fund for Women in Arts & Culture joins the Amis du Centre Pompidou
with an Acquisition Fund dedicated to women artists.
The Amis du Centre Pompidou create the Foundation of Friends of the Centre Pompidou hosted by Fondation Mansart.
Bonpoint joined the Amis du Centre Pompidou with the creation of an acquisition Fund dedicated to children’s furniture and games.
Joseph Duclos joined the Amis du Centre Pompidou with the creation of an Acquisition Fund dedicated to multidisciplinary works with Light as their theme.
Artis joined the Amis du Centre Pompidou with the creation of a Research and Acquisition Fund dedicated to artists from the Israeli scene.
Following the Bruno Decharme donation, the Centre Pompidou’s collection became a reference in Art Brut on an international scale. By supporting the programme of Art Brut research, the Amis committed to the long-term development of the knowledge of Art Brut artists within a museum institution.
To strengthen the presence of artists from the French scene of the 50s – 80s in the contemporary collections of the Musée National d'Art Moderne. The Amis accompany curators on an adventure of rediscovery, on the trail of a heritage that is only partly known.