Joan of Arc
On 18 March 1899, the local town council approved the acquisition of the so-called “Old Château” property, with a view to enlarging the adjacent school. This private property included the château, a spacious edifice recently erected on a vast estate capable of serving as a public garden, as well as a shed and an artisans’ building opening onto the Rue de la Pêcherie.
Three years later, a museum was created on the ground floor of the château upon the initiative of the sculptor Alfred Boucher (1850-1934), who desired to provide the inhabitants of Nogent-sur-Seine the museum that he himself had lacked during his youth. In 1903, with new donations by Alfred Boucher and his friends necessitating additional exhibition spaces, the municipality accordingly renovated the first floor of the château, which also welcomed the new municipal library. Finally, in 1905, the architect Charles Poirée oversaw the transformation of the old shed bordering the Rue de la Pêcherie, thereby allowing for the installation of monumental works, notably the model for the Joan of Arc equestrian statue that Paul Dubois had promised to acquire on the day of the museum’s inaugural ceremony.
Following the war, the museum was briefly reopened, before the building was transformed into a school. In 1974, it once again became a museum, presenting the discoveries made during local digs overseen by the archaeologist André Lemoine. In 1978, a heritage curator was recruited and the municipality launched a renovation of the buildings and a restoration of the collections. The new gallery of sculptures was inaugurated in 1995.
Today, the sculpture collections have been transformed into the Musée Camille Claudel. A project remains to open the Dubois-Boucher Annexe to the public, in full accordance with current accessibility and reception standards, so as to showcase the entirety of the collections belonging to the Nogent-sur-Seine Museum.
Camille Claudel's collection
To definitively free herself from comparisons to Rodin, in the 1890s Camille Claudel chose to explore a more intimate, personal avenue of unique, miniature works. Alert, she scrutinized, observed and then staged snapshots of day-to-day life: her “Life Studies” that she described to her brother Paul, at the time stationed in the United States, in late 1893 (Société des Manuscrits des Auteurs Français). She took pleasure in drawing inspiration from the insignificant, which she then transcended, lending the works a certain universality.
Conception and creation of the website :
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Photographic Credits :
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The association of the museum's friends
The Association Camille Claudel in Nogent-sur-Seine, friends of the Musée Camille Claudel, is particularly present in the life of the museum.
A non-profitmaking organization, founded 17 November 2004
Honorary President and support: Reine-Marie Paris, grand-niece of Camille Claudel. Association affiliated with the French Federation of Friends of Museums Societies.
Founded in 2004 by volunteers with a passion for the oeuvre of Camille Claudel, the association has worked diligently for over 10 years to raise public recognition of the artist and to encourage the artistic practice of sculpting and modelling.
Predating the creation of its museum, the association now strives to further develop the Musée Camille Claudel, while promoting the institution both within France and abroad. It favours the enrichment and showcasing of its collections, while participating in restoration programmes and supporting research.
Each and every donation contributes to raising public awareness of this unique artist and to the appreciation and admiration of her works.
The Association Camille Claudel in Nogent-sur-Seine is animated by the key values of passion, respect, openness and dialogue.
Another cornerstone of the association's activity is the practice of sculpting and modelling and the favouring of fine arts expression more generally, with the goal of spreading and sharing the arts with the general public, while also offering an accessible means of artistic self-expression and fulfilment.