HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MUCEM
This imposing mechanical organ, painted in bright colors in a firmly Art Nouveau style, provided a lively musical accompaniment to the movement of a large wooden merry-go-round that was donated to the old Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires (Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions) by the Town of Nogent-sur-Marne.
Advertising poster for the psychic Maïna Juan
Circa 1930, Harford
Maïna Juan was a famous fortune teller in the 1920s and 1930s, practising various divination techniques out of a space on Boulevard Sébastopol in Paris. She maintained her reputation and her advertising through posters, newspaper advertisements and the use of a sandwich man.
Flute playing automaton
1878, Alexandre-Nicolas Théroude
While the automaton’s position was inspired by an ancient marble statue in the Louvre, a faun playing a flute, its decorative shell took on the appearance and the colors of the subjects of the French colonial empire, then at its apogee, in order to satisfy the exotic tastes of the time. It has a mechanical barrel organ in its chest, giving the illusion of the music played by a flautist.
Puppet of St. Anthony
This hollow puppet is part of a series that acted out the Temptation of St. Anthony at the Théâtre du Vrai Guignolet in the Champs-Elysées Gardens in Paris. The Temptation was a very popular play that had multiple versions but that always followed the same framework: the saint's humility and conversions provoke the anger of the king of hell.
Les Tarots, fortune-telling machine
First half of the 20th century
For the modest sum of 2 francs, this device was supposed to reveal the user’s lucky number and day of the week. Here, you can see a sphinx and Egyptian pyramids, imagery that was frequently utilized in fortune-telling since the 19th century.
Costume de torero
Acquired in 1960 by Georges Henri Rivière, founder of the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions (the MuCEM’s predecessor), this “suit of lights” or traje de luces, as bullfighters’ costumes are called in Spanish, supplemented the institution’s already rich collection of textiles.
© Mucem 2017
This exhibition has been created by Mucem curators. Explore the Mucem’s collections