The story of the Art Center

One of the unique aspects of Flaine is the strong presence of art

"The Art Center is, for us, both the heart and the crowning achievement of Flaine. The resort was born of a cultural idea that my wife and I conceived together."

E. Boissonnas, Ibid

Its Art Center opened in 1970. Exhibitions featured the works of contemporary artists. These exhibitions displayed very different aspects of creativity. Whether Art Brut or New Realists, sculptors, painters, cartoonists and photographers, all would make an appearance at Flaine. Works acquired during these exhibitions were displayed in rotation in the reading room of the lending library. 

Artists were chosen for their avant-garde creativity with great care taken to interest a public not necessarily artistically knowledgeable. Artists were invited to stay in Flaine during their exhibitions and at meetings at the Art Centre people could put questions to them if they wished. 

"Sylvie Boissonnas did not hesitate to commission artistic works: from Topor, the Alice in Snowland fresco in the cinema foyer, or from Arman, the Inclusion for the dining room at Le Flaine hotel. It was she who wanted to put Dubuffet’s "Boqueteau" in the centre of the Forum and, at the foot of the pistes, Picasso’s "totem, Head of a Woman". In 25 years, from January 1970 to September 1995, she organised more than 70 exhibitions with an expressly eclectic ambition. Depending on her taste, friendships and curiosity, she went from "cartoonists" to the "ritual paintings of the Mithila", from Max Ernst to Jean Dewasne, from Supports-Surfaces to Di Rosa, from Monique Frydman to Sophie Calle, or from Zuka to Buraglio."

Bénédicte Pesle In La Culture pour Vivre, Ibid

Eric and Sylvie Boissonnas also played an active part in supporting contemporary art in France.

"The Scaler Foundation, whose name is formed from the initials of the words Science, Culture, Art, Literature, Education and Religion, was created by Eric and Sylvie Boissonnas in the 50s in the United States. This foundation helped enrich the National Museum of Modern Art, where Sylvie was the president of the Society of Friends from 1980 to 1987."

Catherine Boissonnas-Coste In La Culture pour Vivre, Ibid.

"The collection formed by donations from the Scaler and Clarence-Westbury foundations is impressive, both in number and quality. Generations of artists are represented, masterpieces abound."
Alfred Pacquement, In La Culture pour Vivre, Ibid.