Musée Gassendi, a museum reinvented – Guide booklet

Musée Gassendi, un musée réinventé [Musée Gassendi, a museum reinvented] – Guide booklet

Author: Collective
Year: 2004
Publisher: Musée Gassendi
Price: €4.00
Publication in French / 18 x 18 cm / 56 pages (illustrated)

This guide booklet was designed as an aid for a tour of the Musée Gassendi. It presents the various exhibition spaces and thirty major works of the collections, while explaining the original approach of the museum that brings together art & science, time & matter, collection & creation, early painting & contemporary art, in the manner of a reinvented cabinet of curiosities.
Conceiving the renovation of a museum is designing a tour route through the displays that is as open as possible, for both the person who discovers the places and the person who rediscovers them. This route was designed on the basis of the collections, which have made up the history of the museum since its beginnings. We have also devised it according to the building, taking into account its specific nature – its strong points and also its weak points – and also its urban setting, in the middle of Digne-les-Bains, and its environment, between hills, stony rivers and steep mountains.

The extraordinary diversity of the collections inspired us to design a tour route through the displays that can give an account of the work carried out through the years by amateurs and curators, with their many passions. For such a museum is only living if it allows visitors to see works belonging to different periods. Similarly, we wished to highlight certain major dimensions of contemporary creation, which reinforce the links between the Musée Gassendi and the Digne area: many of the works presented question ideas of place, of landscape, of nature and of rurality. In addition, inviting artists to work inside the museum itself allows other approaches, which may possibly be critical. (…) Thus, throughout the years, another question arose: that of the museum as a place of recognition and of power. The questions posed by the museography – the educational function of the institution and the phenomenon of museification – are often central to current approaches. (…)

Nadine Passamar-Gomez, Curator of the Musée Gassendi