The life of the collections

The collections of the CNCS trace the history of performing arts –theater, opera, dance, circus, music hall etc. – from the 19th century to the present-day, demonstrating the creativity of those who design the costumes and the know-how of the workshops and artisans who make them.

The collections come from iconic institutions such as the Opéra de Paris, the Comédie-Française theater company or the National Library of France, as well as from artists or theater and dance companies of national and international renown.
The costumes selected for the collections are given the status of “heritage objects”. They are no longer worn on stage and benefit from specific inventory and conservation measures, following protocols established by the Musées de France.

The exceptional quality of the collections, the expertise of the CNCS staff and the research carried out within the museum all contribute to the preservation of unique objects and authentic expertise. The costumes are presented in temporary exhibitions at the CNCS and are also loaned to institutions in France and around the world.