Just one ticket grants access to these two separate but complementary museums: one celebrating the history of textiles and another dedicated to 18th century interiors and decorative arts.
These separate but complementary museums are housed in two spectacular 18th century mansions (and former government buildings), adjoined by an open courtyard. Just one ticket grants access to the two museums: one celebrating the history of textiles and another dedicated to 18th century interiors and decorative arts.
The former has one of the richest textile collections in the world, from the 15th century to the present day. The exhibitions take you through the history of Lyon’s textile industry; how it was initially influenced by trends from Italy and the East in the 15th century, then how it refined its own style under the reign of Louis XIV and then how it changed again under Napoleon’s strict rule. As well as taking you through Lyon’s contribution to the industry, the museum also celebrates the biggest innovations and influencers in the fabrics world. Stand-out pieces on display include fabrics made for Marie Antoinette, materials used in the throne room at the Palace of Versailles and delicate royal dresses from previous centuries. The exhibition continues upstairs with unique pieces from around the globe and from different time periods mixed together and instead organised in each room around a central theme, such as ‘transparent’, ‘dragons’, ‘gold’ and ‘paisley’. The aesthetic arrangement of the works speak for themselves and you can see how one single theme can stretch across centuries and continents.
Next head on over across the courtyard to the Musée des arts décoratifs, where most pieces are from the 17th-19th centuries. What’s striking about this museum is that their collections aren’t displayed in rows of glass cabinets, but instead arranged as recreations of drawing rooms, salons and bedrooms under the reign of Louis XV. Pieces of ornate furniture, harps, clocks and curtains are carefully placed around all three floors of the museum and you can wander through the various rooms, completely surrounded by delicate objects. Moreover, as the museum is in a stunning 18th century building, the pieces are fully brought to life and you almost feel like you’re walking through the set of a period drama as you wander from room to room.
Musée des tissus et des arts décoratifs
34 rue de la Charité, 69002 Lyon