At the suggestion of the Amis de l’Institut (Friends of the Institute) and as part of their programme of activities for 2009, a series of meetings with stakeholders in contemporary art is starting with a visit by Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr.
An auctioneer specialised in contemporary art and chairman of the Palais de Tokyo, Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr is also a knowledgeable and passionate collector.
Born in Morocco in 1939, he studied law in Toulouse and initially intended to become a lawyer, while starting a collection of old drawings. He then decided to devote himself entirely to his passion by becoming an auctioneer and subsequently became interested in modern drawings and then photography and contemporary art.
He opened an office in Paris in the early 1970s and founded the auction house 'Maison de Ventes Cornette de Saint Cyr' in 2003, with the help of his sons Bertrand and Arnaud. Since then, the business has gained an enviable position on the contemporary art market while innovating in the sale of design objects, photographs and publicity objects. However, a large proportion of its business is still in furniture and old paintings.
Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr recently drew up a balance of his activities in contemporary art when he wrote an autobiography entitled L’Art c’est la vie : Souvenirs d’un commissaire priseur, published by Michel Lafon in 2004.