PARIS — The Musée des Arts Décoratifs has long had an identity crisis.
It is in a 19th-century wing of the Louvre building on the Rue de Rivoli, but it does not belong to the Louvre.
It gets confused with the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, the elite national school for art and design on the other side of the Seine River, even though there is no connection between the two institutions.
And it is not a museum dedicated to the early 20th-century Art Deco movement, even though “Art Deco” is shorthand for “Arts Décoratifs.”
So in January, in an effort to reinvent itself, the museum changed its name. It is now called Musée des Arts Décoratifs/MAD, pronounced not “mad” as in angry, but “mahd” as in the subculture and fashion movement in 1960s Britain.