FRANÇOIS PANNIER, gallery owner, inventor of the Himalayan art market
François Pannier has endeavored to build a Himalayan art market since the 1970s, when it was non-existent. He has just made two donations, one to a museum in Cannes, the other to Confluences in Lyon.
by Stéphanie Pioda
Where does your passion for Asian art come from?
It started at least 65 years ago—I’m 77! The family context had much to do with it, between one of my uncles’ libraries at my grandmother’s house in Touraine, where I spent every summer reading Arnould Galopin’s novels about adventures in Indian temples whose statues had huge rubies for eyes, the musée de l’Homme and the musée Guimet in Paris, where I went so often I wore grooves in the floors—my parents lived nearby next to place du Trocadéro—and my father’s big travel books with pictures of New Caledonia. Plus, a friend of mine’s grandfather was in Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion (editor’s note: a Chinese nationalist uprising led by the eponymous sect) and met Pierre Loti (editor’s note: writer and French naval officer). I was steeped in a context that fostered this fascination with Asia. I bought my first Chinese objects when I was about 14 or 15.
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