The museums of Angers are made up of 7 establishments: 6 museums and 1 arts library
Angers boasts one of France's richest museum collections
- The museums bear the Musée de France label
- Buildings classified or registered as historic monuments
- Over 50,000 artworks and 450,000 artefacts
- Temporary exhibitions throughout the year
- Diverse and eclectic cultural programmes: visits, workshops, conferences, concerts, performances, etc.
- Open to everyone: children 2 yrs +, teenagers, families, adults, groups, persons with disabilities
Housed since 1796 in the private mansion of the Barrault family (dating from the 15th century), the Musée des Beaux-Arts offers 3,000 m² of exhibition space and features two permanent exhibits:
- Fine arts: 350 paintings, sculptures and art objects, from the 14th century to the present day.
- History of Angers:550 archaeological artefacts and art objects, from prehistoric times to the present day.
Not to be missed: ivory horn, Jordaens, Champaigne, Lippi, Guardi, Tiepolo, Boucher, Chardin, Fragonard, Watteau, Ingres, Mérodack-Jeaneau, Niki de Saint Phalle...
Since 1968, the hospital Saint-Jean (12th century), one of the most remarkable examples of hospital architecture in France, has been home to Le Chant du Monde by Jean Lurçat (1957-1966). This ensemble of ten tapestries can be described as a manifesto on behalf of a politically-committed artist, with similarities to the monumental tapestry of The Apocalypse, and constitutes a symbolic and humanistic vision of the 20th century.
In an adjoining building dating from the 17th century, collections range from the 1930s to more contemporary textile art, and feature works by artists such as Thomas Gleb and Josep Grau-Garriga.
The Toussaint abbey church (13th century), restored in 1984 and covered with an impressive, modern glass roof, is home to the artworks of sculptor David d'Angers (1788-1856).
The gallery, which brings together medallions, busts and monumental sculptures, offers visitors an overview of the different phases of the artist's career: drawings, models, plaster casts, and sculptures in marble and bronze.
David d'Angers sculpted a large number of well-known historical figures in his lifetime, including: King René, Gutenberg, Bonaparte, Bonchamps, Goethe, Balzac, Stendhal, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Paganini, Victor Hugo, etc.
The Museum of Natural Sciences tells the story of man since prehistoric times, with a special focus on the environment and ecology. It is home to an exceptional collection of artefacts, on display to the public, showcasing the diversity of the natural world and the evolution of nature.
The museum consists of 2 sites. The Hôtel Demarie-Valentin in the city centre with its collections of artefacts showcasing local and regional history and prehistory. The second site is the Gaston-Allard Arboretum and is home to the city's botanical collections.
The museum-château showcases some extraordinary treasures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, from the collection of Daniel Duclaux. The castle was built as a fortress in the 12th century, but lost its defensive function in the mid-15th century, when it became a place of residence.
Daniel Duclaux, a wealthy industrialist and keen art lover lived here from 1981 onwards. His spouse bequeathed the château to the city of Angers in 2002, as well as a rich collection of European artworks dating from the 12th to the 16th centuries (tapestries, ceramics, bronze statues, Limousin enamels, polychrome wooden sculptures), and an impressive library of books.
The private mansion known as the Hôtel de Pincé was built in the 16th century for Jean de Pincé, the mayor of Angers for several terms. In 1861, local painter Guillaume Bodinier donated the Hôtel de Pincé to the city of Angers. The museum opened to the public in 1889 and presented the collections of local painter, Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé.
In 1915, the Saint-Genys bequest, made up of Japanese woodblock carvings, added another type of art to the collection, that of the Far East, which was further added to with acquisitions and bequests in 1945 and 2001. Since 1975, the former home of Jean de Pincé has been devoted to Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquity, as well as the oriental arts.
The Angers Arts Library is a place devoted to contemporary creation through the loan of original artworks to the public from its collection, and its policy of regular exhibitions and arts-related activities. It is also a place that allows the public to learn more about contemporary art.
The collection consists of 1,200 original artworks by over 450 artists. All of the artworks in the collection can be borrowed by the public. The loan is for a duration of two months and allows individuals to create their own special relationship with a piece of art, whether it be displayed in a home, school or business setting.
The Artothèque has moved to a new site in 2020 : the RU-Repaire Urbain – located in the garden of the fine arts museum, alongside some of the city's cultural offices, Angers Patrimoines as The Archives patrimoniales.