At the beginning of the 20th century, the Musée de Grenoble was already acknowledged as one of France’s great museums on account of the richness and quality of its antique art collection. Through the actions of Andry-Farcy, its curator from 1919 to 1949, it was also to become France’s foremost museum of modern art. Great artists from Matisse to Picasso and Bonnard to Léger entered its collections through donations the artists themselves were asked to make, such as the masterpiece of the collection, Matisse’s Interior with Eggplants. Gifts by collectors such as Jacques Doucet, Doctor Albert Barnes and Peggy Guggenheim, also helped to build up the collections, as did acquisitions made from such great dealers as Daniel Henry Kahnweiler, Ambroise Vollard, Paul Guillaume and Alfred Flechtheim.
In 1923, the Agutte-Sembat bequest contributed a unique and substantial group of Neo-Impressionist (Signac, Cross) and Fauvist (Matisse, Derain, Marquet, Vlaminck) works to the museum’s holdings. Following in the footsteps of Andry-Farcy, other curators were determined to add to this prestigious collection with regular acquisitions and loans, most often focusing on art in the process of being created.