École Polytechnique and Google Arts & Culture are teaming up to make available to the general public for the first time a unique collection of nearly 2,000 pieces from scientific, historical and artistic collections from École Polytechnique, retracing more than 226 years of existence. Through seven online exhibitions, this virtual space highlights the history of the school, its contribution to great scientific discoveries and also allows visitors to focus on historical destinies or individual stories, diving into the daily life of students from various eras.
Stemming from a partnership initiated in 2019 with Google Arts & Culture, which specializes in virtual visits of museums and the visualization of works in high definition, in March 2021, École Polytechnique unveils nearly 2,000 pieces and seven new exhibitions from the reserves of its museum, the Mus’X. A virtual tour of the museum in “Street View” is also available with the exhibitions. This launch represents one step further in favor of the opening of the school’s campus and the dissemination of knowledge.
“This unprecedented project for a higher education institution in France responds to a number of ambitions such as the valorization of culture and scientific and technical heritage. These exhibitions bring a new perspective to the cultural and historical legacy of the school, including traditions or student life since 1794. École Polytechnique has always had the ambition of building bridges between the arts and sciences, and between science and society. Expanding the heritage of the school beyond the limits of the Palaiseau campus and giving access to our unpublished collections or those unknown to the general public, has become essential, especially considering the context of the current global pandemic, with cultural spaces remaining closed in France,” said Eric Labaye, president of École Polytechnique.
1,850 works and more than 226 years of history
– Nearly 200 artistic drawings, gathered at the beginning for drawing class purposes, the engineer of the 18th century had to know how to master the art of drawing
– Around 100 photographic portraits of former “polytechnicien” students, with unique destinies
– More than 500 prints and photographic views revealing the behind-the-scenes of student life from different eras
– Around 50 photographs of historical scientific instruments – from past to present