After three years of work, the Musée du Gévaudan, listed as a historical monument, Musée de France, opened its doors on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 in Mende. It was inaugurated by the Prefect of Lozère, the President of the Occitanie-Pyrénées-Méditerranée region, and the Mayor of Mende, in the presence of representatives of the Drac and many guests.
From Ignon-Fabre to Gévaudan
The Gévaudan Museum is part of a museum adventure that began in 1820 with the creation of a museum to present the pieces from the excavations carried out on the Gallo-Roman sites of the department by the Société des lettres, sciences et arts de la Lozère. First managed by the Société des lettres, sciences et arts de la Lozère, the museum then called Ignon-Fabre was taken over by the Lozère General Council in 1995. In the early 2000s, he undertook an operation to safeguard the collections.
Thanks to the support of the State, Europe, the Occitanie Region and the Lozère Department, the impressive work of renovation and extension of this ancient island of the heart of the city is conducted for three years by local companies and artisans. The project is also accompanied by the Friends of the Ignon Fabre Museum, the Friends of Victorin Galière, contemporary painter and the Mende & Lot Country of Art and History in Gévaudan.
Two remarkable heritage ensembles
The Gévaudan Museum includes two remarkable 17th century heritage ensembles: the Hôtel de Buisson de Ressouches and the Salle des Vertus, whose wall paintings have been restored. More than just a museum, the project is also part of a broader strategy of sustainable and territorial development aimed at revitalizing the heart of the city, bringing together cultural and economic actors from Lozéria and interacting with the entire territory.
A rich collection accessible to all
With a collection of more than 500 items, the Museum of Gévaudan traces, among other things, the history of the Lozère, former royal province of Gévaudan, from the first testimonies of life until today. A heritage place listed as a Historic Monument, having received the Musée de France designation, the museum was conceived as a space of life, discovery, sharing, exchange and conviviality, open to the territory, accessible to all and free of charge.
The Gévaudan Museum is spread over 1,200 m² on three levels. Rich, diversified and accessible to a wide audience, it includes more than 500 pieces selected from the 16,000 that make up the fund. The tour is divided into twelve rooms allowing you to discover the collections through the prism of two themes: Nature & Culture.The first four rooms are dedicated to «nature & its uses» and address successively the themes of the earth, water, flora and fauna of the territory in an interweaving of eras, raw materials and objects of architectural, everyday, funerary and artisanal use.
The following eight rooms offer a chronological journey around “culture and its testimonies” from prehistory to the contemporary era, through a selection of varied works (paintings, sculptures, ethnographic objects, archaeological finds, ceramics, etc.). A Beaux-Arts area highlights 19th and 20th century Lozérian artists, such as Victorin Galière, while a graphic arts studio is dedicated to drawings and prints. A room presents contemporary works inspired by the figure of the Beast, such as the work of artist Lionel Sabatté. The Beast of Gévaudan, a true history of the 18th century, which claimed hundreds of victims and left a deep mark on the territory, will be at the heart of an important participatory system in a dedicated room.
The Gevaudan Museum in a few figures
1820: date of creation of the first museum
Nearly 16,000 objects in the collection
2003: the museum gets the label «Musée de France»
€0: the price of admission to the Gévaudan Museum
1 200 m² open to the public
27 years of closure
2022: opening of the Gévaudan Museum
To consult the press kit.
Images of the inauguration on October 18 22