The museum yesterday...
In 1905, the law separating the property of Church and State allowed the transformation of the Palais de la Berbie, erstwhile residence of archbishops, into a museum.
The Toulouse-Lautrec galleries were inaugurated at the Palais de la Berbie in 1922 with the help of an exceptional bequest from the Count and Countess of Toulouse-Lautrec.
The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum is today an ambassador for the city of Albi and draws nearly 160,000 visitors annually, which places it among the top museums outside of Paris. Since 2001, it has undertaken an ambitious overhaul program which will put it among the great contemporary museums.
Begun in 2001, the renovation work includes redesigning the entrance to the museum now relocated to the Court of Honour. New areas have been created below the palace:
- an auditorium with 156 seats for conferences and lectures. Two films on the life and works of Toulouse-Lautrec are shown there every day,
- a room for educational workshops and presentations for children, school groups and adult education,
- a 470m2 room for temporary exhibitions, completed with three small cabinets and a gallery for presenting small size works. These areas are occupied by the permanent collections until the end of the building work.
The exhibition hung at the beginning of 2008 offers a new reading of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work.
- Canvases from his youth, major portraits, and pictures of brothels are displayed in the newly refurbished ogive vaulted medieval rooms.
- Paintings, posters and lithographs occupy the areas which in due course will house important exhibitions.
Toulouse-Lautrec Museum – recently refurbished rooms
The new museum will open its doors some time in 2012. It will offer a warm and refined atmosphere. The museum tour will present the works by theme and in chronological order and will offer possibilities of quick or in-depth tours.
The first floor rooms situated around the Court of Honour will house the end of the Toulouse-Lautrec tour. Level 2 will receive the modern art collections.
The Stainville wing (A) will house the drawing cabinet. The Daillon du Lude gallery (B) and the Archbishop’s bedroom (C) will be restored. The temporary exhibition rooms in the basement will permit the mounting of large scale exhibitions.
Les salles du 1er étage, situées autour de la Cour d’Honneur accueilleront la fin du parcours Toulouse-Lautrec. Le niveau 2 recevra les collections d’art moderne.
L’aile Stainville (A) abritera le cabinet des dessins. La galerie Daillon du Lude (B) et la chambre de l’Archevêque (C) seront restaurées. Les salles d’expositions temporaires, au sous-sol, permettront de recevoir des expositions de grande envergure.