Constantin Brâncuşi was born in Romania in 1876 and received a traditional arts training at the Bucharest School of Fine Arts. He came to Paris in 1904 and from 1916 he occupied a studio, first at n.8 and from 1928 at n.11, in Impasse Ronsin in the 15th arrondissement. It was in these studios that he produced the main body of his work up until his death in 1957. In 1956 he bequeathed his studio along with its entire contents (finished works, sketches, furniture, tools, library, record collection etc.) to the French State on condition that the Musée national d’art moderne undertook to reconstruct it exactly as it stood on the day of his death. The studio reconstruction by Renzo Piano in 1997 is not intended to be an ethnological recreation of the layout of the place down to the smallest detail, but to communicate the unity that Brancusi created between his sculptures inside that studio space. At his end of his life he succeeded in building up large series of works, such as “Colonnes sans fin” and “Grands Coqs” groups, which he did not wish to move since he believed he had found the best arrangements for them to be viewed in; this unity should be seen as the very fulfilment of his work. Brancusi’s studio was located near Montparnasse in a district made up of alleyways that lent it a private character and was surrounded by other artist’s studios. The problem facing the architect Renzo Piano was to create open to the public whilst at the same time preserving the idea of a hidden, internalised space cut off from the street and the piazza. To the left on entering is an enclosed garden from which part of the studio can be seen through a bay window. This area facilitates the transition between the public space, the Atelier was attached to the Centre Pompidou and the covered passage which leads visitors around the studio. This passage is punctuated with glazed openings through which can be seen the works positioned in the studio space. The lighting has been designed to reproduce that of the original studio as closely as possible.
Special thanks to Franco Di Capua