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Maison Jean Vilar

A place dedicated to the memory of Jean Vilar and the Festival d’Avignon.

The Maison Jean Vilar is run by the Association Jean Vilar and the Bibliothèque nationale de France - Performing arts department - in partnership with the city council of Avignon.

Maison Jean Vilar holds the following:

  • the Jean Vilar collection: the personal archives of Jean Vilar and documents relating to performances created by him at the Festival d’Avignon and the Théâtre national populaire: repertory texts, correspondence, press files, photographs, posters, programs, sound and video recordings of performances, and costumes and mock-ups of costumes created by painters who worked for Vilar, including in particular Léon Gischia, Mario Prassinos, and Edouard Pignon
  • a general collection of 30,000 books and reviews on theater and performances: opera, dance, circus, mime, puppetry, music hall, variety, and cinema
  • a unique collection of documents on the Festival d’Avignon from its outset: archives, programs, posters, press, audiovisual materials, and photographs
  • information documents about cultural activities in the region.

The reading room is open to all, with no access restrictions.

Maison Jean Vilar also has both permanent and temporary exhibition rooms and a video library.

To be noted

Part of its collections are referenced in paper catalogs, which can be consulted on site.

History of Maison Jean Vilar

In February 1972, shortly after Jean Vilar’s death, the Association for a Jean Vilar Foundation (Association pour une Fondation Jean Vilar) was formed. Its goal was to bring together materials on the life and work of Jean Vilar at the Festival d’Avignon from 1947 to 1971 and at the Théâtre national populaire from 1951 to 1963, not only to protect his memory but also to use his work as a source of reflection and renewal.

A consultation process then began between the Association, the National Library and the City of Avignon. The idea of creating a “Maison Jean Vilar” took shape when the City acquired the Hôtel de Crochans, and was finally embodied in a three-way agreement in December 1977.

Since its inauguration in July 1979, the three partners have been running Maison Jean Vilar, establishing collections, and organizing exhibitions, events, and meetings throughout the year, with the help of the City, the Département, the Region, and the Ministry for Culture and Communication (Ministère de la culture et de la communication).

For more info

History of the BnF

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Lenka Bokova
Librarian in charge of the BnF unit, Performing arts department
Phone: 04 90 86 59 64
Direct line: 04 90 27 22 80
Fax: 04 90 86 00 07

For a bibliographic research, use our "Ask a librarian" service, SINDBAD.