Paradis magazine was created in 2008 by art director Thomas Lenthal and writer Jonathan Wingfield. Potential Museums is the seventh issue of Paradis, specially edited by scholar Donatien Grau.

This issue was born from an evidence: all museums follow the same pattern. The request sent to all participants was to invent a new museum. Their contribution could take any form, any length they wanted: an essay, a series of images, a fiction, a poem, a drawing, a whole project.

Over the last few years, museums have been granted a more important place than they ever had. When the Grand Louvre opened in the early 1990s, two million visitors a year were expected. Two decades later, nearly ten million visitors enter the Louvre every year. The great museums of the past host more visitors than they ever did. And, all around the world, new museums keep being founded at a fast pace. They have become a genre in its own right, and an object of desire for today’s culture.

Featuring six different covers, this book-size issue brings together over fifty contributions from some of the world’s cultural luminaries, across design, art, film, history, literature, and science. From a ‘Museum of Nuances’ to a ‘Museum of Frogs’, from a ‘Museum of Non-Verbal Communication’ to an ‘Island’, from celebrated authors to the late couturier Azzedine Alaïa, every museum is a window open into a new world, which is given to us to experience.

Biography of the editor

Donatien Grau holds doctoral degrees from the Sorbonne, the University of Oxford, and the Ecole pratique des hautes études, Paris. Between 2014 and 2017 he served as advisor to Azzedine Alaïa for the couturier’s not-for-profit exhibition space, the Galerie.

In 2018 he was appointed head of contemporary programs at the musée d’Orsay, Paris, while curating the exhibition ‘Plato in LA, Contemporary Artists’ Visions’ at the Getty Villa.

Dr. Grau’s academic publications have been reviewed in some of the world’s leading journals, such as the Times Literary Supplement and The New York Review of Books.

Download the press release