Throughout her entire life, Anne Gruner Schlumberger gathered an important collection of works of art from different periods, some of which she bequeathed to the Fondation des Treilles.
The collections that Anne Gruner Schlumberger assembled in various fields testify to her passion for art, her intellectual curiosity and her friendship for artists.
Victor Brauner and Max Ernst are among those with whom she had the strongest affinities. The first purchases of these artists’ works began at the end of the 1940s and continued with regularity until the end of their career, thus constituting a remarkable ensemble that remains today, with the great compositions of Roberto Matta and Joseph Sima, the sober still lifes of Louis Fernandez and Jean Dubuffet’s “Texturologies”, one of the highlights of the modern art collection.
Artist’s books, drawings and engravings in which we can find the signatures of Max Ernst, Victor Brauner, Henri Laurens, Roger Vieillard, but also Fernand Léger, Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso offer an intimate contrast to the collections of paintings and sculptures. There are creations by Dubuffet, Giacometti, Picasso, Max Ernst and Victor Brauner, whom she has personally known and with whom there have been bonds of friendship as evidenced by her correspondence, as well as works by more recent artists.
One of Anne Gruner Schlumberger’s favorite fields is sculpture that she discovered in Henri Laurens’s studio and that she would have liked to practice. She acquired for the Foundation the Océanide and the Amphion, which are both bronzes made by Henri Laurens. She also bought two bronzes by Max Ernst : the Capricorn and the Microbe, seen through a “temperament”. François-Xavier Lalanne’s fantastic bestiary has found in Les Treilles the ideal place to be highlighted. Sheeps forming a sofa, a wind rabbit, an owl, a snail table and a labyrinth fountain, ordered to the artist for her house patio, make one of the most representative sets of the artist’s work in the tradition of Surrealism.
For the Treilles domain, of which they are the symbol today, Anne Gruner Schlumberger ordered from Yassilakis Takis, that she met in Greece, her other country of heart, large installations, among which Eleven agricultural symbols, The garden of the Probes as well as The Virgin and the Bull, a table on which is engraved a text by Michel Serres, one of the family’s friends. Greece is present in the collections with a set of Cycladic sculptures, column shafts, capitals and some large ancient marbles.
Kipinga, African throwing knives, offered by Victor Brauner are at the origin of the constitution of a set of objects from the African continent, among which a remarkable Sénoufo bed. Masks, knives, poles and various objects and sculptures resonate with modern works of art. The founder’s curiosity will spread to other continents and other civilizations, a beautiful Olmec head being one testimony of it.
Anne Gruner Schlumberger is passionate about the history of the Treilles domain and Provence. In an ethnographic approach, guided by Georges Henri Rivière, founder of the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, and a long-time friend of hers, she brought together: rustic furniture, everyday utensils in terracotta, pewter, glassware, basketry, esparto, agricultural tools, but also numerous pieces of clothing and printed cottons, testimonies of craftsmanship whose memory fades and which must be preserved.
These various sets form an original and very rich collection. It has been built over a lifetime, in a spirit of freedom and sharing, the very one that is at the heart of the Foundation’s project.