Hermès has unveiled a new exhibition taking place at the National Museum of Qatar throughout March.
Hermès Heritage — Harnessing the Roots is the latest in the touring ‘Hermès Heritage’ exhibitions that explore the history and heritage of the house through a series of objects that highlight iconic themes, colours and motifs from the house’s origins as a harness-maker and saddler, until today. After last year’s “Once Upon a Bag” exhibition in 2022, Harnessing the Roots focuses on harnesses and their metamorphoses. The showcase explores the ways in which everything at Hermès has developed over time – each mechanism, saddle, harness, clasp – all have evolved to become part of the design for a new lineup of products.
The exhibition was curated by Bruno Gaudichon, the curator of La Piscine Museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix, and Laurence Fontaine, who acted as scenographer. The two decided to arrange the objects by way of a thematic, rather than chronological, narrative in order to reveal the links and dialogue that have always existed between the objects. The five themes are Brides de Gala, The Horse and its Tack, The Saddle, Buckled Up and Ties and Straps.
The items showcased in this exhibition come from three sources: the first is the Émile Hermès collection – a collection of treasures and small curiosities, located at the Hermès flagship at 24, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré in Paris, that Émile Hermès built up throughout his life. The second source is the house’s Conservatory of creations, and the third; contemporary fashion, lifestyle and accessories collections.
These objects are complemented by documentary archives and a film from 1962 in which Robert Dumas, heir and director of Hermès from 1951 to 1978, explains the art of saddle-making. It is this intertwining of materials, stories and techniques that reveals the fantasy and magic of Hermès.
The exhibition runs from 4th March to 1st April 2023 at The National Museum of Qatar.