Due to the extensive time period covered by its holdings, the Musée Ariana focuses on two main areas of acquisition: the enrichment of its historic collections and new developments in contemporary art and design.
For the former, the institution receives special support from the Association of Friends of the Musée Ariana (AAA), which acquires a major historical piece for the collections every year. The museum’s aim is not to systematically fill any gaps for purposes of accumulation, but rather to add to the key areas and strongpoints of the historic collections and so complete any missing links in the curatorial discourse established to date.
The acquisition of contemporary ceramics or glass is based on different criteria from those applying to the enrichment of our historic collections. The museum is forced to adopt a more subjective approach, which implies taking greater risks. There isn’t the hindsight that comes with time, which therefore reduces the reliability of any previous critiques. The acquisitions policy for contemporary pieces is consequently based on establishing representative collections of an artist’s work and of his/her career.
The Ariana acquires work by local, national and international artists that represent important milestones and reflect the cultural and social changes of our time. The quality of the selected pieces lies in their intrinsic expressive force and a certain degree of correlation between their meaning, shape and technique.
The City of Geneva’s public collections are permanent and inalienable. Once objects join a collection, they cannot be given back or resold. They are held for posterity and conserved so that they can later be studied, and are very often shared with the public through exhibitions and/or publications.