The collections of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac hold an important set of objets obtained in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in the current territory of Canada and the United States. This set of objects were part of the so-called "royal collections" – pieces belonging to the monarchy, the aristocracy and the church which, after the French Revolution and the subsequently confiscation of nobility properties, were integrated into French national institutions. This is an exceptional collection for the knowledge of the Native peoples living in these regions, as well as for better understanding their relations with Europeans from the 17th century onwards. We have thus implemented an interdisciplinary approach for the study and the dissemination of this exceptional corpus: the CROYAN Project – the French Royal Collections from North America.
Our approach combines the historical study of the collection (mainly from the written sources of the time), the material analysis of the objects (technological studies, identification of materials and traces of use), conservation-restoration interventions and the collaboration with Native American and First Nations specialists.
The research project aims to shed new light on the provenance and context of the objects preserved in France, on the value and function attributed to the latter in the past and today, and to ensure its transmission to futures generations.
Our interdisciplinary project brings together academics, curators, archaeologists, Native American and First Nations partners, engineers, restorers, researchers in preventive conservation and a lawyer in the study, preservation and dissemination of the French Royal collections from North America.
Our goal is to publicize to a wide audience the CROYAN Project and the French Royal Collections from North American that arrived to France before 1856. The website provides information on the collections kept in Paris and elsewhere in France, on the stages and participants of the project, as well as on the results of the undertaken collaboration.
Editors : Paz NÚÑEZ-REGUEIRO et Leandro VARISON
Editorial Team : Angèle MARTIN, Anael MICHEL, Nikolaus STOLLE, Julien BRACHHAMMER
Contributors : members of the Research projet CROYAN & partners
The project is based on a multidisciplinary approach: it associates professionals with various specialties and academic and cultural profiles: anthropologists, historians, curators, restorers, chemists, Native American and First Nations specialists, elders and artists. Its success depends on the complementarity of specialties, methods and points of view adopted. Dialogue between indigenous knowledge and academics is essential to allow a better understanding of the studied collections.
Sponsors and Patrons
Fondation des Sciences du Patrimoine
The Foundation for Heritage Science [Fondation des Sciences du Patrimoine] is a partner foundation under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture. It contributes to streamlining and financing research into material cultural heritage in three areas: acquiring an in-depth understanding of material cultural heritage, improving conservation and restoration procedures, and improving ways of disseminating this knowledge.
Terra Foundation for American Art
The Terra Foundation for American Art assists individuals, organizations, and communities in promoting plural and inclusive conceptions of American art. Founded in Chicago in 1978, with an office in Paris, the priorities of its patronage, collection, and activities are to promote intercultural dialogue on American art at the local, national, and international levels.