Stéphanie Trouvé, the new director of the Béziers museums: “2025 will be the year of Gustave Fayet”

Stéphanie Trouvé, the new director of the Béziers museums: “2025 will be the year of Gustave Fayet”

Stéphanie Trouvé, la nouvelle directrice des musées de Béziers, nourrit de nombreux projets pour faire rayonner la ville. Diane Petitmangin – Midi Libre

A doctor in art history, this specialist in 17th and 18th century painting is passionate about the large-scale projects that will flourish in Béziers: construction of the new museum and reserves, celebration of the centenary of the death of Gustave Fayet… Meeting.

"When I saw the ad, which detailed plans to build a new museum and adequate reserves, I jumped at the chance". Stéphanie Trouvé is a happy director of the Béziers museums. A doctor in art history, specializing in the 17th and 18th centuries, this Toulouse woman, who lived in Bordeaux, has an atypical career path. For a long time, research was her only credo, whether at the university where she taught or within the framework of European programs between the Gironde city and Montpellier.

A privileged relationship with sculpture

But successive and varied missions at the Bordeaux Museum of Fine Arts opened up other horizons for him and gave rise to other desires. His position in Béziers is thus "the opportunity to implement what fascinates me: the meeting between art and the public . Especially since I can rely on fantastic and dedicated teams here, who gave me a very warm welcome. Besides, I find that the city, as a whole, is welcoming and smiling".

To walk through the Fayet museum in his company is to take a fresh look at this old-fashioned charming mansion, with its "rooms in a row in their own juice, even if the tapestries have been redone. It's old-fashioned but with so much charme". It's appropriating the pieces that populate it like so many treasures. We then (re)discover Injalbert's sculptures under another eye. "What struck me when I arrived in Béziers was the city's relationship with sculpture. When you walk through the aisles of the Old Cemetery, it’s impressive. I think that the Biterrois have this in mind and it is also a line of work that I would like to develop around the incredible work of' #39;Injalbert".

Original initiatives

The Béziers museums and heritage team carries out numerous mediation actions aimed at different audiences. Young people and schoolchildren but not only. "The mediators have developed two major projects for disabled audiences, which are really rich in meaning". There is the operation ”The museum at the hospital” where they work with doctors, psychologists in the geriatrics and psychiatry department, to solicit memory and emotions.

And, a project in progress. Starting from the two immense canvases by Nicolas-Guy Brenet, on Ovid's Metamorphoses, resin artifacts will be produced."They will be tactile, for visually impaired people, and will show the movements of the characters, the fabrics, the expressions of emotions, to understand how the painter constructs his painting".

For the moment, it is focusing on this new setting that will constitute the former Bishops' Palace (and former courthouse), which will bring together the three museums of France of Béziers, after years of work. "Seeing a museum being born, it’s exciting, it’really an adventure to live".& ;nbsp;Just like the construction of reserves adapted to the 20,000 works (paintings, documents, sculptures, archaeological or lapidary remains…) from Béziers and " which will constitute a real efficient working tool for conserving but also examining and studying all of the collections.

The centenary of the death of Gustave Fayet

Above all, 2025 will be the year of Gustave Fayet, whose centenary of death (1865-1925) will be celebrated. A winegrower, entrepreneur, ceramist, collector, extremely wealthy painter "who left behind a colossal body of work: hundreds of drawings, blotters, books that he illustrated& ;hellip; This season will be an opportunity to highlight all the facets of this colorful character.
In addition to the exhibitions, research programs have been set up which will allow us to approach man in a new way, whether in Fontfroide, Paris or Arles.

« Here, in Béziers, we will discuss the relationship that Gustave Fayet had with Japanese art. Beyond the objects he collected, he used them in his daily life and twisted their meaning. And how he assimilated Japanese aesthetics into his art, through beautiful objects and rugs, in a jubilant way. »
Stéphanie Trouvé’s enthusiasm is also jubilant and communicative. The museums of Béziers have a bright future ahead of them.

Projects in spades

Bringing the three museums together.The City's major project is to transfer the funds from the current Fayet Museum, certainly charming with its pretty garden but outdated and above all unsuitable for all disabled audiences (people with reduced mobility or the visually impaired). Its new setting will be the episcopal palace (formerly the courthouse), a stone's throw from Saint-Nazaire cathedral. After extensive work – reopening date planned for 2030 -, "it will present the collections of the city's three museums: natural history museum, Béziers museum of popular arts and traditions (ATP ) and the fine arts collections".

New reserves. In the shorter term, 2026 will be the year of construction of the new reserves to house the different collections. "It may seem anecdotal but it's fundamental. We are just smugglers. So that in 50 or 100 years, the public can still admire paintings and works of art, they must be able to be preserved in ideal conditions.No question of a simple shed, therefore, to house all these treasures. The new building must meet strict rules regarding temperature, humidity, etc. "We must also think about the future and enrichment (acquisitions, donations, legacies) and therefore the storage of collections. Reserves are an important tool to better view, monitor and study funds.

Walking through the city with the painters

The Fayet museum hosts the exhibition "Views of Béziers – Explore the city" until January 4, 2025, which highlights the pictorial collection and the richness of the Biterroise collections and "allows us to bring out works that we are not used to seeing". The tour begins on the first floor, in the small office, where sketches, plans and models of the Injalbert-Mouret Museum… (*) A museum that has never been never saw the light of day, despite several attempts.

On the 2nd floor, various paintings and drawings offer a panorama of the city which, ultimately, over the centuries has changed little, notably the rock of Saint-Nazaire cathedral. "It shows that the city has inspired artists a lot, continues Stéphanie Trouvé. What is fascinating here is the light. I can understand how she could have inspired so many.

The fine arts collection houses in particular "masterpieces and nuggets that are only shown in rotation, for lack of place". But in 2030, once the museum has been transferred to the Bishops' Palace, many paintings will be able to be brought to light, and no longer only intermittently.

(*) Félix Mouret  (1862-1939), born and died in Vendres, is a botanist and archaeologist, who is notably the discoverer of the Enserune site. I subscribe to read more

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