In Paris today, Mennour announced the establishment of the Mennour Institute, a new entity devoted to unifying and advancing the myriad initiatives the gallery has established in support of the arts over the years. Kamel Mennour said, “The Mennour Institute is a natural extension of my commitment, a new umbrella under which I wanted to group together actions which, until now, have been carried out intuitively. I am keen to push ahead faster in this direction.”
The primary aim of the Mennour Institute is to further the gallery’s involvement with and promotion of education, philanthropy, and research into 20th- and 21st-century art history—codifying itself as a site for excellence and provision in the field. The establishment of the Institute stands in a long history of the galley’s programs and initiatives geared toward research and bringing art to a broader audience. “This initiative is an illustration of our deep-seated conviction that the gallery’s mission is to reach out to everyone and that it has a role to play in passing on and sharing knowledge,” said Mennour Artistic Director Sylvie Patry.
With the announcement of the Mennour Institute’s launch, several new initiatives have been unveiled as well. Within the realm of art historical research, two juried PhD grants—comprised of bursaries of €5,000—in the field of Modern and Contemporary art history will be awarded to support student projects. The call for applications will open on September 20, with the winners being announced in January 2024. Also commencing this autumn will be an ongoing series of free-to-everyone masterclasses offered by the institute, platforming artists, designers, and other specialists, and bringing their skill and expertise to the fore.
Additionally, Mennour will, for the next five years, sponsor the Eugène Carrière Prize, bestowed by the Académie française to two publications on the visual arts through the 21st century—with the awardee announcements happening in late November 2023. Alongside a Mennour-hosted seminar organized by the École du Louvre for art market program students and researchers, these inaugural initiatives are an ideal complement to the gallery’s longstanding and wide-ranging publishing program that has, over the course of some 20 years, resulted in influential reference works, essays, and catalogues.
To note just a few of several ongoing programs, in February of this year, Mennour launched “Samedis en famille,” or “Family Saturdays,” free guided visits for children aged 6 to 12. Initially planned and led by French National Museums lecturer Anette Robinson, the program has been extended through the 2023–24 season. Additionally, in 2015 and now under the same umbrella, Kamel Mennour established the HEROES for Imagine project in the realm of philanthropy, which has to date raised €22 million for the Imagine Institute, a leader in genetic disease research. The Mennour Institute has outlined plans to extend this commitment through organized talks about art at the Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, in collaboration with Robinson, offering creativity and enjoyment for hospitalized children.
The reveal of a diverse array of initiatives and programs housed within the newly formed Mennour Institute is an exciting development not only for Mennour Gallery but the greater modern and contemporary arts community. The outlined activities and mission of the institute mark Mennour’s dedication to fostering and promoting academic and scholarly excellence, and promises to facilitate engagement with the broadest possible audience—ensuring a continuation of necessary arts education and resources. The Mennour Institute stands at an intriguing intersection between a traditional gallery and a cultural facilitator, positioned as a bastion of support for the advancement of modern and contemporary arts discourse.