Musée du quai Branly, Paris
18 September 2012 - 14 July 2013
37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris
+33 1 56 61 70 00

At the intersection of anthropology, the history of ancient and contemporary art, fashion and manners, this exhibition examines individual issues of intimacy and sociability through the universal theme of hair.

Addressing the idea that individuals and social groups display personality through hairstyle, the show is presented first in terms of frivolity: competing blonds, brunettes or redheads, straight or frizzy as seen in a wide range of classical paintings, sculptures and photographs. Comparing the coquetries of Papua New Guinea, those of the beautiful urban African or haute coiffure artists, the exhibition moves towards the idea of a human material to be shaped and sculpted, a medium both for knowledge and the relativity of beauty but also an object of loss, a symbol of time passing, illness and death.

For many hair retains the aura and energy of its owner and a large part of the exhibition is devoted to the many "magical" objects said to be endowed with powers that we can borrow.