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Artothèque, what is it!?

Close to a library, Artothèque is at the same time a collection, a place of storage of art, but also an organization practising loan (and/or the hiring) of works. The idea is to integrate art into daily life, whether at home, at business or in everyday's life of a restaurant or a hairdresser's salon, for example. By joining an Artothèque, any member can borrow or rent a work of art for a limited period of time, before returning it and choosing a new one.


André Malraux, Minister of Cultural Affairs under presidency of Charles de Gaulle and inspired by Association of Revolutionary Writers as well as by German loan galleries, opened the first art libraries in the 1960s (Le Havre in 1961 and Grenoble in 1968) within framework of Maisons de la Culture. But it is only during 80's at initiative of Jack Lang, then Minister of Culture, that art libraries really start to spread. However, art libraries remain little known and isolated because of their nebulous status, they can be private as well as attached to a media library or museum, which makes their categorization difficult. To remedy this, an effort to organize them was launched in 1999 with creation of ADRA, the Association for Development and Research of Art Libraries.


ADRA was founded to coordinate actions and connect art libraries present on French territory, it is an association of cooperation between member art libraries and has five main missions that define what an art library is. The first one is to build up and develop a collection of contemporary art in various ways, in order to promote contact between artists and borrowers. The second is to make the borrowing public aware of art world thanks to the ease of access and the diversity of works available for loan. The third mission is that of conservation, due to difficulty of preserving works, which by nature of the art library, are intended to be mobile, which leads to a significantly faster wear and tear than a non-mobile work. The fourth mission is to support the production of artworks through exhibitions, artist residencies and promotional materials. Finally, the fifth mission is the training of contemporary art professionals.

Artothèque Sud

Artothèque sud de Nîmes is a cultural association created in 1989, whose mission is to promote contemporary art (the only one associative structure in Occitania that manages a collection on paper for the loan of works). We are an association gathered since 30 years, to share culture and art as factors of development and social link. Artothèque Sud manages a collection of more than 600 works, mainly on paper, and offers the possibility of renting to individuals, associations, private or public companies as well as to school groups.

Artists exposed at Artothèque Sud :

Creation of graphic and audiovisual communication tools :


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