The history of the Christian Dior museum

Progressively, the idea of turning the villa “les Rhumbs” into a place dedicated to Christian Dior’s memory became a real project, driven by the curator Jean-Luc Dufresne, the couturier’s little cousin.

In 1987, the exhibition “Christian Dior, the other himself” at the Richard Anacréon modern art Museum, in Granville, led to the creation of a collection, first composed of donations from Christian Dior’s close relations, most of all from his two sisters, Catherine and Jacqueline, and from partners. Then, the curator added items purchased by the town of Granville.

From 1991, year of creation of the association “Présence de Christian Dior”, the constructions were made gradually. Until 1995, the town of Granville was in charge of the acquisitions while the association was working on donations. Since 1995, the association “Présence de Christian Dior” heads the acquisitions with the help of Dior Couture and Dior Perfumes – and also the help of the LVMH company, of the town of Granville, and of the regional acquisition fund for the museums. In 1997, the creation of “showcase rooms” allowed the museum to show models and accessories in the best conditions and to open regularly the villa to the public.

The centenary of the couturier’s birth, in 2005, was the perfect time for big transformations and then for the memorable exhibition “Christian Dior, man of the century”, recognized as being of national interest.

Currently headed by Jean-Paul Claverie, the LVMH director’s counsellor, the association manages the Museum and drives the cultural and scientific project through public service delegation of the town of Granville. It benefits from the support of public partners – town, departments, regions, State – and private individuals associated as sponsors – Dior, LVMH. The walls and the collections of the museum belong to the town of Granville, the financing and the managing of its business are handled by the association. Preserving the inalienable collections, enriching them thanks to an active policy of acquisitions, and introducing the work of Christian Dior through exhibitions and cultural events organized in the villa Les Rhumbs constitute the essential task of the association.

The Christian Dior Museum is the only “Musée de France” dedicated to a couturier. Since 2010, in addition to an annual thematic exhibition, it organizes an autumn-winter exhibition, “Une maison, des collections”, showing its permanent collections and its most recent acquisitions. In June 2012, it obtained the “Maison des Illustres” label from the Ministry of Culture.