This historical exhibition, ranging from Eugène Carrière's La Coiffure (1890) to Simon Hantaï's La Tabula (1980) presents part of the Musée Fabre's collection of modern art. The selected works do not attempt to retrace the comprehensive history of the ideas and movements shaping 20th-century art, but rather to give a snapshot of the museum's current holdings in this area.
Acquisitions by Jean Claparède (curator from 1938 to 1945) and Georges Desmouliez (1960-1975) brought a number of modern works into the collection, but significant gaps remain, hence the inclusion here of a number of works on loan or deposit, including works from the private collection of Piet Moget, selected with his help and collaboration. Piet Moget's links with the Musée Fabre began in 1964. From 1962-65, Moget helped organise the exhibition Grange Basse, including works by Bissière, de Staël, Dubuffet, Fautrier, Gilioli and Poliakoff, and was invited by Georges Desmouliez to continue working with the museum in an official capacity. Works chosen from Moget's collection interact with the artists and movements represented in the Musée Fabre's collection. L'Eloge de la Géométrie, and an oil study by Andrè Lhote complement his small landscape of Collioure, acquired by the City of Montpellier in 1948. A monochrome work by Marc Devade's joins works by artists of the Supports-Surfaces group, presented to the museum by the Friends of the Musée Fabre. Paintings from the 1950s enhance the museum's representative holdings of works by the Paris School, highlighting other contemporary movements and trends – abstract paintings by Bram and Geer Van Velde. Materialist works by Simon Hantaï reflect sculptural works by Germaine Richier.