Research is central to the purpose of the musée national d'art moderne. All actions carried out by the scientific team in view of adding to the collections, restoring, documenting or presenting them, produces new knowledge. The same applies to preparing the temporary exhibitions laid on at the Centre Pompidou or in partner institutions: the idea is to foster discoveries and rediscoveries, which lead the way to further expertise. At the Centre Pompidou, research thus takes many different forms, from documentary notices to exhibitions and from talks to publications, sometimes through the invention of new formats. Research is also brought into play, as can be seen from the campaigns for restoring masterpieces in the collections.
A research centre as a result of its purpose as an institution, the musée national d'art moderne is also a resource centre. Its documentary collections – whether archives entrusted to its care or those produced by the scientific team – are valuable assets for researchers from all backgrounds. Within the musée national d'art moderne, the Kandinsky Library welcomes them every working day so that they can explore its exceptional collection.
A number of specific research projects responding to the strategic priorities defined by the institution are given particular attention. These are developed with the Centre Pompidou's university partners, including Labex Arts H2H (Laboratory of Excellence in Arts and Human Mediations) and Labex CAP (laboratory of excellence in "Creation, Arts and Heritage").
Examples of partnerships with universities under the aegis of the Labex arts laboratory:
• The "Cinema/video, art and politics in France since 1968" project, developed in partnership with Paris 8 University as part of Labex Art H2H, lists and describes the sources of early video history. This has enabled several major archive collections to enter the Bibliothèque Kandinsky.
• The "Behaviours" project carries out in-depth research on behaviour objects, objects endowed with empathy, dysfunctional and other objects in a cross-disciplinary approach halfway between art and science. It explores areas of interaction between man and machines.
• The "History of exhibitions" project is contributing to the emergence of a discipline specifically dedicated to the history of exhibitions, at the crossroads of art history and museology, in order to build up a comprehensive catalogue raisonné of the Centre Pompidou's exhibitions.