- by Naomi
From art to archaeology
Last Sunday I spent the day at the Museum. I decided to go alone and visit Valence Museum of art and archaeology in the town centre. The museum was completely renovated in 2013 and is at Place des Ormeaux, near the Saturday morning market at Place des Clercs. It was first created in 1850 and has been at the former bishop's palace since 1911, a historic building that still shows traces of the past, including the 12th-century fortified episcopal tower, ogival-shaped gallery, 15th and 17th-century painted celings and much more.
Come and unveil the secrets!
The collections include more than 20,000 pieces, offering a profound insight into the history of Mankind and the arts, from the regional prehistoric era to contemporary art.
On the theme of archaeology, I was plunged into the history of civilisations from the Rhône, from the prehistoric era. In the Art section, there are paintings, drawings, sculptures and decorative art on display around the theme of landscapes.
Come and discover the artworks at Valence Museum
I am really passionate about contemporary art and was pleased to discover a whole exhibition room devoted to the subject. The artworks there are superb but in my opinion there are never enough! At the entrance to the museum, I (re)discover a very original piece... it is made from all kinds of objects, doll's heads, plants, rocks, motorcycle helmets, etc. I'll leave it up to your imagination or you'll have to come and see this original combination with your own eyes because everyone interprets this piece in their own way! It was created in less than 3 weeks (during the museum's renovation work in 2013) by creators Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger. It is really quirky, with objects you wouldn't expect to see, and each time we look at it, we see even more items we hadn't seen before. This is one of my favourite artworks in Valence Museum!
Fascinating objects to discover
I was also fascinated by another rather special object, the first calendar of the universe, engraved onto a reindeer bone. This is the rarest (and one of the smallest) object of the museum! Another surprising piece to admire is the mosaic with 8 representations of Hercules, a one-of-a-kind in France (there are only 8 of them in the world)!
A superb panoramic display of Valence and the mountains of the Ardèche
To really end my visit of the museum on a high note, there's an outdoor seating area and viewpoint on the top floor. From up there, I can see the champ de Mars and Peynet bandstand, a panoramic view of the local area, from Vercors all the way to the mountains of the Ardèche. If you look right, you'll also see Saint-Apollinaire cathedral.
Museum open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 6pm.