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October 12, 2011

The Centre Pompidou’s Mobile Museum

By Rachel Wolff | Art

© Adagp, 2011. © Succession Picasso 2011.

The vast majority of a museum’s permanent holdings are kept out of sight and in storage, awaiting the right exhibition or a well-placed loan. It’s sort of a sad image—masterpieces languishing in very fancy, private, particular and carefully calibrated crates. So what better way to get some mileage out of a stellar collection then to take it on tour? That’s why Paris’s Centre Pompidou has created Pompidou Mobile, a sleek, collapsible 7,000-square-foot pavilion designed by French architect Patrick Bouchain. The portable museum—the first of its kind—will debut on October 18 in Chaumont (Haute-Marne), a small historic town about 160 miles southeast of Paris. Next year the museum will travel to Cambrai and Boulogne-sur-Mer (Nord-Pas-de-Calais). Many of the artists whose works are included in this first run, which tackles the theme of color, are long dead (think modern masters such as Alexander Calder, Georges Braque, Picasso, Matisse and Yves Klein). But a tour is a tour, so we’re not discounting the possibility of groupies. Open Tuesday–Friday, 10 a.m.–Sunday. At Quartier Foch, Rue Raymond Savignac; tourisme-chaumont-champagne.com/fetes-et-manifestation/le-centre-pompidou-mobile,57,fma740; www.centrepompidou.fr.