Since 1972, the Mathurin Méheut Museum has occupied an old house in the heart of Lamballe. A place judged, over time, too narrow to allow the public to discover the extent of the talents of this extraordinary artist born here in 1882. It was therefore decided to create a new museum capable of accommodating some 5,000 pieces from the collection. It opened on June 18 in the heart of the Haras national de Lamballe-Armor, with the ambition of attracting 40,000 visitors a year to a space worthy of the richness of its immense and heterogeneous work; and far from being limited to Brittany.
By force of circumstances, we had a much smaller space, reduced means too, and I think that for people, in the collective unconscious, Mathurin Méheut is the painter of Brittany and the sea. is true of course, but it is not just that, far from it.Mylene Allano
Curator of the Mathurin Méheut Museum
Because if Méheut painted his native region, its inhabitants, its traditions a lot, the man was also an illustrator, decorator (of liners in particular), ceramist and sculptor. 260 pieces from the museum’s collections have been selected to provide an overview of his work. And it was the scenographer Eric Morin who imagined the thematic journey to discover the work of the artist: “What is interesting is that we have works of different formats, small and large; we also have a major work, which is the Sea Tapestry by Mathurin Méheut with its preparatory cartoon opposite. So that gave rise to a really particular device for this body of work.“.
A central piece of the museum, this tapestry exhibited for the first time was woven in 1946 by the Manufacture des Gobelins. “In fact, he had been commissioned to create an allegory of the sea. From there, he took on the trades of seafarers, so we see them maneuvering the capstan, or on their boats. He has represented a lot in his career the sea, the animals, the flora, and here we have a summary“, explains the curator. A space is also planned to accommodate temporary exhibitions echoing the immense work of Mathurin Méheut who died in 1958.
Mathurin Meheut Museum – Place du Martray, 22400 Lamballe-Armor – Tuesday to Sunday (and Monday afternoons in July and August) – Information on 02 96 31 19 99 or on the museum website.