Nevertheless the station was subsequently used for a wide variety of purposes and events: a reception centre for repatriated prisoners and deportees in 1945, the location chosen by General de Gaulle in 1958 to announce his return to politics, a film set for Orson Wells and Bernardo Bertolucci in the 1960s, etc.
Between May 1968 and the first oil crisis, architectural sensitivities and policies had moved on. The debate provoked by the destruction of Les Halles, and the lukewarm response to the new Montparnasse station made any similar project problematic. The station and its hotel, closed in 1973, remained.
This was a groundbreaking project: the first time an industrial building had been restored to accommodate a major museum. The decor was restored to its former glory, and adapted to meet new requirements: for example the ceiling rosettes in the arched bays were restored to their original state but housed air-conditioning vents and devices to reduce sound reverberation.
One of the museum’s innovations was to bring together all the artworks from a very short, but extremely productive period (1848-1914). Painting, sculpture, architecture, decorative arts and photography were displayed side by side. This presentation drew the visitor’s attention to previously discredited artists and to Academic artists.
Directeur de la publication — Guy Cogeval, président de l'établissement public des musées d'Orsay et de l'Orangerie
Alain Lombard — Administrateur général
Martine Kaufmann — Chef du Service Culturel et de l'Auditorium
Francoise Le Coz — Responsable du secteur Internet et multimédia
Eric Jouvenaux — Concepteur et chef de projet
Exposition réalisée en collaboration avec: —
Caroline Mathieu — Conservateur général
Alice Thomine-Berrada — Conservateur du patrimoine
Clémentine Lemire — Chargée d'études documentaires
Iconographie — Musée d'Orsay et RMN-Grand Palais
— Toute réutilisation des images présentées est interdite