From the National Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions to the MuCEM, and from the Palais de Chaillot to the shores of the Mediterranean, discover nearly a century’s worth of astonishing stories that made it possible to build up exceptionally rich, unique collections.

Dessin de Paul Colin  représentant l’artiste sur scène, 1re moitié du XXe siècle


Religious and “star system” objects in the Mucem’s collections

From St. Francis to Claude François, the relics of celebrities have a sacred aura that incites fans and believers to touch and acquire these sometime intrinsically humble objects. The Mucem’s collections contain treasures of saints and star. The perfect materials for a comprehensive pilgrimage...

Cafetière pour la vente ambulante, Beyrouth, Liban, fin du XXe siècle


Coffee (qahwa in Arabic, a term also used to refer to wine) came to us from the Arab and Ottoman world. From the plateaux of Abyssinia, where there is evidence of the cultivation of coffee trees as early as the 12th century, coffee crossed the Red Sea, first being grown on the coastline of “Happy Arabia” (modern-day Yemen), and then in the tropical climes of the territories of the great colonial empires beginning in the 17th century.

Mucem, Dessine-moi un lion

Draw Me a Lion

The Animal Art of Gustave Soury

Lions, tigers, panthers, bears, elephants, kangaroos, camels, cats, dogs, and more... Is there a creature on earth who escaped the meticulous illustrations of Gustave Soury, the portraitist of circus animals?

Mucem, Mai 68 et les œuvres contestataires

May 1968 and Protest Pieces: To Arts, Citizens!

Protest movements, social movements, and more: the MuCEM preserves the memory of these demonstrations that made their mark on history. Posters, leaflets and banners are the fragile witnesses of these people’s rallies. Discover a selection of creations from May 1968.

Talisman juif sur parchemin invoquant les anges, Alsace, XVIII—XIXe siècle

Beware of sorcerers!

Magic and sorcery: some of us consider them laughable superstitions, others firmly believe, and many are uncertain. Without taking a position on the matter, the Mucem has preserved many reminders of the importance, and even violence, of the practice of magic in France, Europe and around the Mediterranean.

Mucem, Abécédaire

An ABC with a difference!

What are these items doing at the Mucem?

Unexpected materials, surprising representations, puzzling quantities: the collections in the Mucem contain lots of unexpected items that reach out to people. Why would you save plastic bags? What is the point of this piece of wood with three holes that looks like a very pointed clog? Who could actually make a model of a boat out of hair and cardboard – and why would they do that? All these questions about the overarching approach to building a national heritage – and we answer them twenty-six letters.