Exhibition : Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France at the Musée des arts et métiers

Creation of an immersive 4-screen video installation, titled M.O.F, co-signed by David Ayoun, Thierry Carron and Arnaud Dubois, around gestures of different M.O.F. throughout France, taking as much of the contemporary work, film and documentary than of the ethnographic experience.

The exhibition Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, presented at the Musée de arts et métiers from 30 May to 5 November 2017, highlights crafts, technical gestures and the transmission of knowledge.


At the same time historical, ethnographic and contemporary art, the exhibition shows the work of excellence of medalists in the contest “One of the Best Workers of France” (excluding food / catering trades). Launched in 1924 on the occasion of the first National Exhibition of Labor in Paris, this competition was created to enhance the work and ingenuity of workers and craftsmen.

Built on the basis of a field survey of twenty MOFs throughout France, the exhibition examines the craftsmen’s craftsmanship and their creations with a selection of pieces from the collections of the Musée des arts et métiers . The ensemble is presented in an unusual scenography, enriched with elements designed for the exhibition by MOF, including a library offering a selection of 25 works, made by jewelers, embroiderers, dressmakers, glassmakers, watchmakers or frames.

Heritage objects, archival documents and contemporary creations invite the visitor to discover the tools, the materials, the places of production but also the creative processes and the lives of these exceptional workers. The video installation that closes the course reveals the technical and aesthetic gestures of the Best Workers of France in their workshop working paper, fabric, glass, wood, stone, bronze.

By placing humans at the heart of the exhibition, Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France reflects the richness and diversity of current practices, which are part of a long tradition of craftsmanship.


Curator of the exhibition: Arnaud Dubois, anthropologist. This exhibition is a co-production of the Organizing Committee of the Exhibitions of the Work (Comité d’Organisation des Expositions du Travail) and the contest “One of the Best Workers of France”(“Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France “(COET-MOF)) and of the Musée des arts et métiers, with the support of the EY Corporate Foundation for handicrafts.


Download the press release Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (PDF 2 MB)
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