"Museum, a world history"

Conversation between Krzysztof Pomian and Annabelle Ténèze.

les Abattoirs
Free entrance

This meeting is part of the programme "Once upon a time, progress" proposed by the festival "L'histoire à venir".

The philosopher and historian Krzysztof Pomian has devoted himself for more than thirty years to writing a world history of museums that is at once political, social and cultural.

This unprecedented undertaking took the form of a first volume, Le musée, une histoire mondiale. Du trésor au musée (From Treasure to Museum), published in 2020, followed in 2021 by a second volume devoted to L'ancrage européen. 1789-1850, before the last volume of this trilogy, À la conquête du monde, 1850-2020, published in 2022.

This meeting between Krzysztof Pomian and Annabelle Ténèze, director of Les Abattoirs, Musée- Frac Occitanie Toulouse, is symbolically held at Les Abattoirs, in a museum of contemporary art. How do museums in the 21st century define themselves not only as places of culture and education, but also of sociability and inclusion? In an era of existential, identity, economic and climatic questions, how are they more essential than ever to our social body?

"L'histoire à venir" Festival:

Created in 2017, "L'histoire à venir" is an innovative history and social science festival that aims to show that history can and should help us understand the issues at stake in contemporary debates.

From 24 to 28 May, the 6th edition of the festival will offer, in 30 venues, more than 80 meetings with researchers in history, humanities and social sciences, authors, artists and journalists. Together, we will explore the different facets of the notion of progress, through time and space: is what is progress for some also progress for others? Will what seems like progress today still be progress for tomorrow's generations? And how do we measure progress, according to what values and criteria? Moreover, have all societies thought of their history and their future in this way?

The festival "L'histoire à venir" is organised by the Théâtre Garonne, the University of Toulouse Jean-Jaurès, the publisher Anacharsis and the bookshop Ombres blanches


Krzysztof Pomian is a Polish-French philosopher, historian and essayist, born in 1934 in Warsaw. He studied (1952-1957), taught and defended his doctoral (1965) and habilitation (1968) theses at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw. He was expelled from the Polish United Workers' Party in 1966 and deprived of his teaching post in 1968 because of his hostile stance towards the regime's policies.

He spent his entire career in France at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), while teaching at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), the École du Louvre, the University of Geneva and other foreign universities. Krzysztof Pomian is currently Honorary Director of Research at the CNRS and Professor Emeritus at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland). Since January 2001, he has been Scientific Director of the Museum of Europe in Brussels and holds honorary doctorates from the Marie Curie Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland (2003) and the University of Geneva (2005).

Among his numerous publications, one can cite the Gallimard editions:
"L'ordre du temps", Bibliothèque Des Histoires, 1984, "Ibn Khaldûn au prisme de l'occident", Bibliothèque Des Histoires, 2006, "Des saintes reliques à l'art moderne ; Venise-Chicago, XIIIe-XXe siècle", Bibliothèque Des Histoires, 2003, "L'Europe et ses nations", 1990, "Sur l'histoire", 1999