Bruno Monnier founded Culturespaces in 1990 and has made it into one of the leading cultural operators in Europe.
Bruno Monnier is the President and founder of the private company Culturespaces,1 which specialises in the management of historic monuments and museums, and the creation of art centres. In 1990, he created Culturespaces, which, thirty years later, is the leading European private cultural operator specialising in the management of historic monuments, museums, and art centres.
He is CEO of Culturespaces, President of the Fondation Culturespaces and Director of CULTURESPACES DIGITAL®.
>The French Ministry of Culture
Graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po),1 the Université Paris II Assas, and the HEC’s MBA programme, and, fascinated by the history of art, Bruno Monnier began his career in 1981 working for the Havas Group. In 1986, he joined the French Ministry of Culture, where he was responsible for the modernisation of the management of museums and monuments (the ‘Patrimoine 2000’ commission) and the reorganisation of the Château of Versailles. Entrusted to Bruno Monnier by Philippe de Villiers, the French Secretary of State for Culture and Communication, in October 1986, the ‘Projet pour Versailles’ mission led to the creation of an independent establishment—the Public Establishment of the Palace, Museum, and National Estate of Versailles—with a new visitor, promotional, and exhibition policy.
In 1988, he left the Ministry of Culture and established Culturespaces, as a consulting and cultural engineering department in Havas.
> Delegated management
In 1990, Culturespaces, inspired by the Anglo-Saxon model in which most of the historic monuments and museums are managed by private organisations, became a subsidiary of the Havas Group, Crédit National, and the Suez Group, which became Engie in 2008. Culturespaces advised local authorities, private owners, and State establishments on how to promote and manage their monuments and museums.
In 1990, he signed his first contract with the City of Avignon for the management of the Palais des Papes, which ended in 2000.
He was then successively entrusted with:
- the Castle of Les Baux-de-Provence by the Commune of Les Baux-de-Provence in 1993
- the Jacquemart-André Museum (Paris) by the Institut de France in 1996, which had been closed for three years, and which he renovated and reopened in 1995 as a venue for regular temporary exhibitions,
- the Château de Valençay by the joint association of the Château de Valençay in 1996 (until 2007)
- the Cité de l’Automobile (Schlumpf Collection) in Mulhouse by the Association pour la Gestion du Musée National de l’Automobile in 1999
- la Greek Kérylos Villa in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, by the Institut de France in 2001 (until 2015)
- the Roman Theatre in Orange and the Musée Municipal in Orange by the City of Orange in 2002
- the Waterloo battlefield in Belgium by the Intercommunale 1815 and the Walloon Region in 2004 (until 2013)
- the Cité du Train in Mulhouse by the Association du Musée du Chemin de Fer in 2004
- the City of Nîmes’ three Roman monuments (Amphitheatre, Maison Carrée and Tour Magne) by the City of Nîmes in 2005
- the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence in 2012
- the Maillol Museum in Paris in 2016
- the Bassins de Lumières by the City of Bordeaux—scheduled to open in 2020
He developed an efficient model for the cultural and economic management of cultural establishments, which prioritises visitor experience, does not receive public subsidies for operating costs, and provides funds for the restoration of buildings and collections.
> A Foundation for children who have little access to culture
In 2009, Bruno Monnier founded the Culturespaces Foundation, which now operates under the aegis of the Fondation FACE (the Fondation Agir Contre l’Exclusion), a foundation that combats social exclusion. The Culturespaces Foundation promotes access to the arts and cultural heritage and fights against the cultural exclusion of certain children who are sick, handicapped, or suffering from poverty and social exclusion.
In 2019, the Foundation welcomed around 7,500 children in Culturespaces’ venues.
>The Carrières de Lumières
In 2012, Bruno Monnier went digital by launching the AMIEX® (Art and Music Immersive Experience) system, which has proved successful at the Carrières de Lumières. These immersive exhibitions are based on the virtualisation of works of art in order to create dynamic shows that enable viewers to view the works of the great masters in the history of art from an entirely new perspective—a sensorial and immersive experience with a musical soundtrack.
> The restoration of a historical monument and the creation of an art centre: the Hôtel de Caumont
In 2013, he created with Culturespaces a new cultural venue in Aix-en-Provence, the city of his youth: he acquired and restored a historic monument, the Hôtel de Caumont, and transformed it into an art centre, which opened its doors to the public in 2015. The Art Centre holds two temporary exhibitions every year and attracts 350,000 visitors.
Attracting more than 300,000 visitors in 2017, the Hôtel de Caumont has become one of the major cultural establishments in the region.
> The creation of a digital art centre in Paris: the Atelier des Lumières
In 2015, he created with Culturespaces its first digital art centre in Paris: the Atelier des Lumières, in a former foundry in the 11th arrondissement, which he entirely restored and refurbished. The art centre opened its doors to the public on 13 April 2018 with the immersive digital exhibition ‘Gustav Klimt’. It attracts more than a million visitors a year.
In parallel with his traditional activity of managing monuments, museums, and art centres, and organising temporary traditional exhibitions, Bruno Monnier decided to develop and create digital art centres in France and abroad, with immersive digital exhibitions, an activity for which he created an affiliate: CULTURESPACES DIGITAL®.
In 2017, he entered into a partnership with the Korean company T-Monet, in order to create a new digital art centre on the Island of Jeju in South Korea: the Bunker de Lumières, designed with expertise by CULTURESPACES DIGITAL® to hold its digital exhibitions. The digital art centre opened in 2018 and attracted 560,000 visitors in its first year.
In 2018, Bruno Monnier and Alain Juppé, former Prime Minister and Mayor of Bordeaux, signed a contract for the creation of a major digital art centre in Bordeaux’s former submarine base, which is called the Bassins de Lumières and will be devoted to immense immersive digital exhibitions. It is opening its doors to the public in 2020.
Over the last thirty years, Bruno Monnier has turned Culturespaces into a company that employs 450 people, whose consistent turnover has enabled the company to fund its own development. The company’s fourteen venues in France attract 4.5 million visitors each year and it has become the leading private cultural operator in Europe and the fifth French operator after the Musée du Louvre, the Château of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and the Centre des Monuments Nationaux
The venues managed by Bruno Monnier, in conjunction with the venue managers and Culturespaces staff
> Jacquemart-André Museum, Paris
> Maillol Museum, Paris
> Atelier des Lumières, Paris
> Hôtel de Caumont – Art Centre, Aix-en-Provence
> Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa & Gardens, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
> Castle of Les Baux-de-Provence
> Carrières de Lumières, Les Baux-de-Provence
> Roman Theatre and Art and History Museum of Orange
> Amphitheatre of Nîmes, Maison Carrée, Tour Magne
> Cité de l'Automobile - Schlumpf Collection, Mulhouse
Exhibitions produced and held under the management of Bruno Monnier, in collaboration with Culturespaces’ Exhibitions Department or CULTURESPACES DIGITAL®
Traditional temporary exhibitions - created in conjunction with curators and specialist exhibition curators
> ‘Turner: Paintings and Watercolours from the Tate’s Collections’ – 2020 – the Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris
> The Alana Collection. Masterpieces of italian painting – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2019
> Hammershøi, the master of danish painting – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2019
> From Douanier Rousseau to Séraphine. The great naïves masters – Maillol Museum, Paris - 2019
> The Emil Bührle Collection – Maillol Museum, Paris - 2019
> Hokusai, Hiroshige, Masters of Japan - Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2019
> Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Foundation. From Manet to Picasso, the Thannhauser Collection - Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2019
> Caravaggio’s Roman Period. His friend and enemies – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2018
> Mary Cassatt, An American Impressionist in Paris – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2018
> Giacometti. From tradition to avant-garde – Maillol Museum - 2018
> Foujita, painting in the Roaring Twenties – Maillol Museum - 2018
> Nicolas de Staël in Provence - Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2018
> Chagall, from black and white to colour - Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2018
> From Zurbarán to Rothko, Alicia Koplowitz Collection – Grupo Omega Capital – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2017
> The Hansen’s Secret Garden. The Ordrupgaard Collection – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2017
> 21 rue La Boétie. Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Léger... - Maillol Museum - 2017
> Pop Art. Icons that matter. Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York – Maillol Museum, Paris - 2017
> Sisley, the Impressionist - Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2017
> Botero : a dialogue with Picasso - Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2017
> The open-air studio – Impressionists in Normandy – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2016
> Rembrandt in confidence – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2016
> Is everything art? Ben at the Musée Maillol - Maillol Museum - 2016
> Turner and colour – Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2016
> Marilyn I Wanna Be Loved By You – Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2016
> From Giotto to Caravage. The passions of Roberto Longhi - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2015
> Florence Portraits at the Court of the Medicis - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2015
> Canaletto, Rome – London – Venice. The Triumpf of Light – Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2015
> Les Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein – Hôtel de Caumont, Aix-en-Provence - 2015
> Désirs & Volupté – Victorian masterpieces - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2014
> From Watteau to Fragonard, les fêtes galantes - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2014
> Le Pérugin, Master of Raphael - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2014
> Canaletto – Guardi. The two masters of Venice – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2013
> Eugène Boudin - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2013
> Fra Angelico and the Masters of Light – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2012
> The Twilight of the Pharaohs. Masterpieces of the last Egyptian dynasties – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2012
> Rubens, Poussin and the 17th century artists – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2011
> The Caillebotte Brothers’ private world. Painter and Photographer – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2011
> Bruegel, Memling, Van Eyck... The Brukenthal collection – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2010
> From Greco to Dalí. The Great Spanish Masters of the Perez Simón collection – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2010
> Antoon Van Dyck - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2009
> The Italian Primitives. The Altenburg collection – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2009
> Africa Oceania. Masterpieces of the Barbier-Mueller Collection - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris, Paris - 2008
> Mesterpieces of the Weisman Collection – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2007
> Fragonard, the pleasures of a century – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2007
> Two centuries of French drawings of the museums of Weimar – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2006
> Artistes and Stars, by the photographers of Paris Match – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2006
> Gold of the Thracians, Treasures of Bulgaria – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris
> Man and his masks, Barbier-Mueller Collection – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2005
> David - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2005
> For Love of Art, Origins and secrets of Edouard and Nélie Jacquemart-André's Collection – Jacquemart André Museum Paris - 2004
> Treasures of the Napoleon Foundation, In the intimacy of the Imperial Court – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2004
> Larguillierre, Painter of the Grand Siècle – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2003
> Passion for drawing, Five centuries of masterpieces in the Krugier collection - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2002
> From Caillebotte to Picasso - Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2002
> Red & Gold, Treasures of Baroque Portugal – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2001
> The Italian Primitives – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2001
> Splendors of Ottoman ceramics from the 16th to the 19th century – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 2000
> From Poussin to Fragonard, Masterpieces of the Horvitz collection – Jacquemart André Museum, Paris - 1999
> Picasso at Palais des Papes – Palais des Papes, Avignon - 1995
> Botero in Avignon – Palais des Papes, Avignon - 1993
Immersive digital exhibitions - largely created with the artistic director Gianfranco Iannuzzi
> Van Gogh, Starry Night / Dreamed Japan, Images of a Floating World – Carrières de Lumières and Atelier des Lumières - 2019
> Gustav Klimt / Hundertwasser, in the Wake of the Vienna Secession – Atelier des Lumières - 2018
> Picasso and the Spanish Masters / Flower Power – Carrières de Lumières – 2018
> The Fantastic and Wonderful World of Bosch, Bruegel and Arcimboldo / Georges Méliès, the “Cinemagician” – Carrières de Lumières – 2017
> Chagall, Midsummer Night’s Dreams / The World of Alice, a homage to Lewis Carroll – Carrières de Lumières – 2016
> Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Giants of the Renaissance / Imaginary Journey. Tribute to Jules Verne – Carrières de Lumières – 2015
> Klimt and Vienna, a century of gold and colours / Invisibles Cities – Carrières de Lumières - 2014
> Monet, Renoir… Chagall. Journeys around the Mediterranean – Carrières de Lumières – 2013
> Gauguin, Van Gogh, painters of colour / Métamorphoses – Carrières de Lumières – 2012