Jean Paul Favand, a unique journey

The eclectic career of a poineer : The tribulum and Louvre des Antiquaires

As a young man, Jean Paul Favand had two passions, acting and antiques. He was both part of a theatrical troupe and always hunting for objets-d’art.

In the 1970’s he created the Tribulum, an antique shop where one could find “curiosities”, art brut, folk art and fairground heritage.

In those days, these strong and meaningful objects had not achieved recognition. Jean Paul Favand quickly realized the impact these objects could have if carefully staged and displayed.

A few years later, at 30 years old, he imagined the innovative concept of an antique centre at the heart of Paris. In this Louvre des Antiquaires, he staged his first entertaining exhibitions focusing on toys, lost treasures, witchcraft or fairground art.

In parallel he organized numerous exhibitions and large-scale projects abroad, in Japan, Europe and the Middle-East such as the scenography of the Maghrabi center in Jeddah. In Paris, his talent for exhibition design and heritage preservation led him to recreate a monumental funfair for the opening of the Forum des Halles, a new shopping center. Consequently, in 1980, Jean Paul Favand was rewarded for his work in preserving and staging entertainment heritage and obtained the “Heritage of the Year” medal.

The Tribulum-bistrot

In the 80’s, the Tribulum antique shop became a bistrot / art gallery settling in the center of Paris in Les Halles. The Tribulum-bistrot was one of the first themed bar in Paris.

“In my antique shop, people meandered, being more interested in looking than buying. This gave me the idea to create a convivial bistrot where my objects could be seen. Instead of paying an admission ticket, the visitors would pay for food and drinks.”

Using the objects from his collection, Jean Paul Favand designed a new display every six months and organized continuous artistic entertainments.

From the collection to the museum

In parallel to his antique business and other activities, Jean Paul Favand has been acquiring, preserving and restoring curiosity objects since 1972.

The amount and size of these accumulated heritage – including complete carrousels – led him to search for an appropriate place to welcome these treasures.

From his Parisian workshop, he established his collection in a warehouse in a former industrial plant in Gentilly (1988-1993) where he created the first Musée des Arts Forains (Museum of fairground arts)

His collection then moved back to Paris, rue de l’Eglise in the 15th arrondissment ( 1993 – 1996 ) before finally settling in the Lheureux wine cellars, Bercy in 1996.

The actual Musée des Arts Forains is the conjunction of all these experiences.

In Bercy, Jean Paul Favand who has long been a curiosities exhibitor, has become the ringmaster of a new economic model: A self-financed museum, managing the preserve its heritage and finance new artistic productions.

Biographical reference :

1970 : Jean Paul Favand creates the Tribulum antique shop, which will become the Tribulum-bistrot

1977 : Creation of the Louvre des Antiquaires

1980 : Jean Paul Favand is rewarded with the « Heritage of the year” award

1988 : The collection is established in Gentilly

1992 : « Chef d’œuvre en périls » (masterpiece in peril) award for the preservation of fairground art and entertainement heritage

1993 : The Musée des Arts Forains moves to the 15th arrondissement within the former Citröen car plant.

1996 : The Musée des Arts Forains finally settles in the 12th arrondissement and is renamed is renamed « Pavillons de Bercy »

1996 : « Comité Régional du Tourisme d’Ile-de-France » award for the creation of his entertaining museum

2009 : The Pavillons de Bercy receive the “Entreprise du Patrimoine vivant” label rewarding the excellence of know-how in preserving entertainment heritage.

2016 : 20 years anniversary of the Pavillons de Bercy

2018 : 30 years anniversary of the Musée des Arts Forains concept.


Published on 09.01.17