Following a stop in China at the end of March, the Hennessy 250 Tour celebrating the cognac-maker’s 250th anniversary came to Moscow, Russia. Heritage Director Raphael Gérard talks about the design of the exhibition, a voyage to the heart of Hennessy’s history.
“Few houses in the world of luxury are as aware of the importance of heritage as Hennessy, which has had the great fortune of preserving all its archives since the founding of the company in 1765. These archives represent more than five kilometers of shelf space! We’ve reorganized, classified and inventoried everything to better showcase this rich storehouse during the House’s 250th anniversary celebrations.
There is a tremendous sense of pride in having been able, through a traveling exhibition, to project the vision of a House that has always looked to the future. All the values that today inspire Hennessy staff were clearly established at the end of the 18th century, perfectly illustrating the DNA of the brand. We wanted to show that our heritage is very much comprised of living matter, a matter that is continually reinvented while building on very strong foundations.
With Hervé Mikaeloff, the curator of the exhibition, we naturally came upon the concept of asking contemporary artists to explore and reinterpret Hennessy’s history and savoir-faire.
We’re presenting these works throughout the year during a major worldwide event, the Hennessy 250 Tour, which kicked off in China at the end of March and will culminate in Paris in September. The event stopped in Moscow at the end of May. Russia is one of Hennessy’ historic markets and the brand has been a powerful symbol of French art de vivre since 1818, when the dowager empress Maria Federovna placed the very first order from Russia for a Hennessy cognac to celebrate her son’s birthday. Hennessy’s popularity has never diminished and the Russian market has always been enthusiastic about our most exceptional cognacs.
After the first two stops of the Tour, I’m amazed by the emotion that our history sparks among visitors, customers and our local employees. Having worked at the heart of the brand’s heritage for many years, I think our greatest reward is knowing that a salesperson will delight in sharing a historical anecdote about Hennessy’s history with a customer.”