Jacques and Anne Kerchache

Portrait of Jacques Kerchache © musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Sophie Anita

Testimonies

Jacques Chirac, Former President of the Republic

« I do not know what I liked the most about him: his sharp viewpoints, strong convictions, immense generosity. A romantic figure, he lived life with passion and voluptuousness. He bore his dreams with a rare obstinacy, surmounting all the obstacles, galvanizing all the energies»

Stéphane Martin, President of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

« Jacques Kerchache had the spontaneous enthusiasm of those who do not wish to grow old. Filled with dreams and desire, he responded with passion to all who requested his help. His conversation was extraordinarily absorbing. He spoke abundantly and expressed unbridled joys and violent dislikes in bursts, masking a great deal of vulnerability exalted by a profound sense of sensitivity behind his abrupt outspokeness; it is thanks to this sensitivity that he developed the honed and exacting eye of an artist over the course of time and through the observation of forms».

Interview extracts

Jacques Kerchache - Interview for the Dada journal in June 2000

«The main thing is the plastic quality of a work irrespective of its origin or its pedigree. What touches me the most is being able to perceive a shape, the creative act of an artist through it».

«One cannot ignore the fact that a better knowledge of the cultures of the world also allows us to gain a better understanding of those who are its representatives».

Apex of Yombe sceptre (Congo), Elephant ivory, 19th century, Donation Anne and Jacques Kerchache, © musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Hughes Dubois

Donations of objects from Africa

Jacques Kerchache's donations

  • An anthropomorphous Kota helmet mask (Gabon) donated in 1967 to the musée de l’Homme as well as its print exhibited permanently in the Jacques Kerchache Reading Room (donated in 2007 by Arnaud Baumann to the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac)
  • A Yoruba mask (Nigeria) donated in 1968 to the musée de l’Homme
  • A Mama mask (Nigeria) donated in 1975 to the musée national des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie

Anne and Jacques Kerchache's donations

  • An apex of Yombe sceptre (Congo) made of elephant ivory donated in 1998.

This work has been exhibited at the Pavillon des Sessions of the Louvre Museum since April 2000.

It has been reproduced in the book: "Sculptures Afrique Asie Océanie Amériques" (Réunion des musées nationaux, 2000).

  • 18 Ibo anthropomorphous statues (Nigeria) donated to the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in 2001 before Jacques Kerchache's death (including 3 exhibited permanently in the Jacques Kerchache Reading Room)
Mumuye statue (Nigeria), 19th-20th century, Donation Anne Kerchache © musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Patrick Gries

Anne Kerchache's donations

  • A Bamiléké drum (Cameroon) donated in 2005 to the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
  • A Suku mask (Congo) donated in 2005 to the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
  • A Mumuye statue (Nigeria) donated in 2005 to the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac and described in the book: "Musée du quai Branly – La Collection" (Skira Flammarion, 2009):

This exceptional statue is an oracular and a warring figure. It dates back to the 19th century and was sculpted on Mumuye land, north-east of Nigeria. It has a typical Mumuye style: slim with a long body and a small head, a long neck, a long torso and arms and very short legs. It is a «speaking figure», which was probably erected outside a hut or inside a building. It is used for revealing the identity of thieves or other criminals. A medicinal plant's juice was applied on the statue's mouth, which would then «speak» to the human being listening to it, just like an oracle. Mumuye statues were also used for curing rites at the time of epidemics such as smallpox.

It is probable that European artists such as Giacometti were inspired by Mumuye statues and had adopted their elongated shape and refined style.

Ifugao sculpture, North of the Luçon island, Philippines, 15th century, Anne and Jacques Kerchache donation © musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Hughes Dubois

Donation of an object from south-east Asia (Insulindia)

Anne and Jacques Kerchache donation

  • An Ifugao sculpture donated in 1999.

This sculpture is part of the 120 masterpieces exhibited at the Pavillon des Sessions, an antechamber to the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac at the musée du Louvre.