Just two years after she became the president of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris’s most notable contemporary art museum, Emma Lavigne has revealed plans to leave her post. On November 1, she will become CEO of the Pinault Collection, which manages the art holdings of French billionaire François Pinault.
At the Pinault Collection, Lavigne will be charge of three museums: the newly unveiled Bourse de Commerce in Paris, as well as the Punta della Dogana and the Palazzo Grassi, both in Venice. These institutions have been used to showcase monumental presentations by Jeff Koons, Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst, David Hammons, and more.
Lavigne’s departure is yet another shakeup at the top of a storied Paris institution. In the past year and a half, the Louvre, the Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac, and the Centre Pompidou have all gotten new leadership. The top posts at the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie—which were formerly held by Laurence des Cars, the new president of the Louvre—are currently vacant.
When Lavigne was hired in 2019, her appointment was much talked about because it made her the first woman to lead the Palais de Tokyo since the museum rebranded itself as a kunsthalle in 2002. It was also a rarity at the time, since few major contemporary art institutions anywhere in France are woman-led.
In a statement, Pinault said that Lavigne “will allow an increasing audience to meet the art of our time, in its diversity and perpetual renewal.”
Lavigne takes the reins from Jean-Jacques Aillagon, who has been close to Pinault for years. Aillagon will remain as an adviser to the collection.