Until the late 19th century, painters like Lotto, Holbein and Delacroix restricted themselves to drawing tapestry cartoons or including Oriental carpets in their pictures. Over the course of the 20th century, however, the European avant-garde revolutionized textile art and practice; artists began weaving their own rugs, inspired by works from earlier periods or drawing upon ethnic and geometric motifs. 

Since the 1960s, carpets and tapestries often bear a political or feminist message.  Beginning with the new millennium, they have grown in popularity. Young contemporary artists like Caroline Achaintre and Pae White are now producing original works that blend tradition, non-Western influences and modernity, for instance through the use of innovative techniques such as digital weaving.

This exhibition challenges the preconceived notion of tapestry as a minor or anachronistic art form. The exhibition also recalls a little known aspect of the history of the MAM that had its own Textile Art department in the 1980s.

As guest artistic director, theLondonbased artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz has designed the exhibition in collaboration with architect Christine Ilex Beinemeier. The ambient music (“furnishing music”) serving as the exhibition’s audio backdrop is a playlist proposed by aesthetic lecturer Jean-Philippe Antoine.

The richly illustrated catalogue is co-published with Skira-Flammarion (with graphic design by Huz&Bosshard).



Magdalena Abakanowicz; Caroline Achaintre; Anni Albers; Olga de Amaral; Leonor Antunes; Stefano Arienti; John M Armleder; Atelier E.B. (Lucy McKenzie et Beca Lipscombe); Ateliers Wissa Wassef; Michel Aubry; Tauba Auerbach; Francis Bacon; Giacomo Balla; Mark Barrow et Sarah Parke; Nina Beier; Anna Betbeze; Michael Beutler; Pierrette Bloch; Alighiero Boetti; Louise Bourgeois; Brassaï; Geta Brătescu; Jagoda Buić; Pierre Buraglio; Alexander Calder; Guidette Carbonell; Gillian Carnegie; Marc Camille Chaimowicz; Claude Closky; Isabelle Cornaro; Lucien Coutaud; Alexandre da Cunha; Pierre Daquin; Sonia Delaunay; Dewar & Gicquel; Latifa Echakhch; Marius Engh; Noa Eshkol; Frederick Etchells (Omega Workshops); Gustave Fayet; Lissy Funk; Ryan Gander; Vidya Gastaldon; Yann Gerstberger; Françoise Giannesini; Elsi Giauque; Piero Gilardi; Thomas Gleb; Daniel Graffin; Josep Grau-Garriga; Helen Frances Gregor; Marcel Gromaire; Sheila Hicks; Jim Isermann; Johannes Itten; Sergej Jensen; Asger Jorn et Pierre Wemaëre; Mike Kelley; Abdoulaye Konaté; Maria Lai; François-Xavier Lalanne; Bertrand Lavier; Le Corbusier Jules Leclercq; Fernand Léger; Jean Lurçat; Märta Måås Fjetterström; Karin Mamma Andersson; Mathieu Matégot; Gustave Miklos; Yves Millecamps; Joan Miró; Aldo Mondino; William Morris; Barbro Nilsson; Albert Oehlen; Nathalie du Pasquier; Mai-Thu Perret; Jean Picart Le Doux; Pablo Picasso; Présence Panchounette; Otto Prutscher; Robert Camille Quesnel (Frères Braquenié); Elizabeth Radcliffe; Carol Rama; Dom Robert; Gerwald Rockenschaub; Willem de Rooij; Dieter Roth & Ingrid Wiener; Mariette Rousseau-Vermette; Hannah Ryggen; Wojciech Sadley; Akiko Sato; Judith Scott; Kay Sekimachi; Shirana Shahbazi; Ivan da Silva Bruhns; Gunta Stölzl; Sophie Taeuber-Arp; Rosemarie Trockel; Maryn Varbanov; Victor Vasarely; Vincent Vulsma; Franz West; Vivienne Westwood; Pae White; Evelyn Wyld.

With the support of



  • Cité internationale des arts à Paris
  • École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs
  • École Nationale Supérieure d'Art de Dijon
  • École supérieure des beaux-arts de Nantes Métropole
  • Galeries Lafayette group
  • Institut national d'histoire de l'art  
  • Institut national du patrimoine
  • Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
  • Laboratoire de recherche des monuments historiques de Champs-sur-Marne
  • Office for Contemporary Art Norway


  • Franco Soffiantino Contemporary Art Productions
  • Galerie Ivan, Bucarest
  • Galerie Kate Werble, New York


  • Anker
  • Carpet Care France

Interview of the curator

Furnishing music

Exposition Decorum - Tapis et tapisseries... par paris_musees