This season at the the Pontarlier Museum

At an altitude of 800 metres, the town of Pontarlier, owner of the chateau, is the second highest town in France, after Briançon (1,326m). World renowned for the production of absinth, it is also a major industrial, commercial and cultural centre. The town is home to a population of nearly 18,000.

Housed in a beautiful 15thC manor house, the Pontarlier Museum is worth visiting for its high quality collections. Archaeology, crafts, displays dedicated to the history of Absinth, art collections by 19th and 20th century artists of the Franche-Comté –  the Museum holds a portrait of Gustave Courbet – “self portrait with black dog”.

While waiting for the chateau to be renovated, exhibitions relating to its chateau’s history are being held here, including a beautiful section dedicated to weapons and military equipment, and the retreat of the Army of the East in 1870 /1871.

From 14th October to March 2021

Painted in 1863 in Saintonge, Le retour de la conférence is one of the major works by Gustave Courbet.It expresses the anticlericalism and opposition that motivated his work throughout his career. Courbet explained himself that “this painting is an entirely critical and comic painting” with which he sought to defy the administration by presenting it to the jury of the 1863 Salon. It seems the work was refused not only by the official Salon jury but even by the Salon of the Refused.

It’s whereabouts are not known today, but it is possible to see a copy in the Pontarlier Museum, together with other works on the same theme, until March 2021.

From January 2021

The retreat of the Army of the East, 150 years later!

Uniforms and weapons shaped the silhouette of the soldiers of the prestigious army of the Second Empire then the reinforcement troups of the war of 1871. After the abdication, the Army of the East, known as the “Bourbaki army”, was rapidly formed and sent towards Belfort. Beaten, the troops were retreating towards Pontarlier on their way to a safe haven in neutral Switzerland. Commemorations of this important period of history in the area of Pontarlier and neighbouring Switzerland continued to be held right up until World War One.

From 6th June to 17th August 2020

All the way from Haïti, animals tell their tale!

In 2016, the Pontarlier Museum / Chateau de Joux acquired a number of paintings by Haïtian artists to celebrate the history of Haïti and Toussaint Louverture, who was imprisoned at the  Chateau de Joux.

Pending the permanent exhibition of these paintings in the renovated spaces at the Chateau de Joux, the Pontarlier Museum, in partnership with the Centre for Haïtian Art, the FACIM, the Aix-les-Bains Museum and the la Rochelle Museum, is hosting the works of Haïtian artist Jasmin Joseph, in dialogue with the paintings by Frantz Zéphirin. The animal figures in these paintings tell a story and condemn certain human behaviours: rejecting that which is different, and domination of the other.

Exhibition over

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