Exciting exhibition at the Pompidou Center

WE love
: a very ambitious and original exhibition
Age :  for all, from 7 years old
Duration:  until September 16, 2019
Location:   Pompidou Center (Paris 4th)
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Préhistoire une énigme moderne, horaires et jours d'ouverture du Centre Pompidou

A museum of modern and contemporary art presents an exhibition entitled "Prehistory, a modern enigma"!


  • The Centre Pompidou makes modern prehistory. He decided to bring prehistoric artists closer to modern and contemporary artists such as Cézanne, Klein, Picasso or Louise Bourgeois.
  • The purpose of this exhibition is to to question the fascination that prehistoric times exert on modern and contemporary art.
  • This subject has hitherto remained relatively new. There was an exhibition at MoMA in New York in 1937 and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1948.
  • The itinerary is chronological and the exhibition brings together more than 300 works,. It begins with prehistoric works such as the Mammoth of the Madeleine and presents modern and contemporary works specially created for the occasion.
  • One enters the exhibition like in a cave, penetrating into the darkness. We cross at first the skull of a Cro-Magnon man and then we admire the famous Venus of Lespugue. It is a 25,000-year-old Venus, a small statuette less than 15 centimeters long, carved from the ivory of a mammoth defense. She has a small, tiny faceless head and disproportionate forms. This Venus has fascinated the greatest artists, including Picasso who had a replica cast in his studio. He was clearly inspired by his painting painted in 1936 "La Femme Nue Recumbent".
  • The exhibition shows how modern articles such as Fontana, Dubuffet, Picasso, Yves Klein and many others are interested in the Paleolithic codes, the parietal traces.
  • Finally the exhibition recalls the role of films in the popular diffusion of prehistory with "The War of Fire", "The Lost World", "King Kong", "The Odyssey of Space", "Jurassic Park".
  • "Prehistory a modern enigma" is a very beautiful exhibition that succeeds surprising and unpublished reconciliations. It leads us to look at the greatest masterpieces of modern and contemporary art from a decidedly new angle.
  • The exhibition was realized in partnership with the National Museum of Natural History - Museum of Man, the National Archeology Museum - National Estate of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and the National Museum of Prehistory.


préhistoire une énigme moderne au centre Pompidou

"Prehistory a modern enigma" is also addressed to young audiences


  • Throughout the exhibition, workshops are scheduled for young people.
  • The workshop "One hand, ten tools" invites children from 2 to 5 years oldas a family, using a variety of tools to create a repertoire of forms and to assemble them, then to discover the exhibition and emblematic works
  • The workshop "The trace and the footprint" proposes to 6-10 years as a family, to experiment the impacts of the gesture according to the nature of the tools and supports, then to visit the exhibition
  • Until September 2nd, the Children's Gallery is transformed into a prehistoric territory "The end of the Paleolithic". It becomes the place of various experiments and proposes to young people, from 4 years, workshops on architecture, jewelery, music, dance and painting to "[become] aware of our ability to evolve from scratch".


exposition sur la préhistoire au centre pompidou
expo préhistoire une enigme moderne à Beaubourg
Klein et la prehistoire au centre pompidou à Paris

Practical information

View schedule details
  • The museum is open every day except Tuesdays and May 1st from 11h to 21h.
  • Nocturne on Thursdays until 11pm for temporary exhibitions on the 6th floor.

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