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Musée d'Orsay - Collections du Fond de Nef

The museum & the collection

Housed in the charming confines of the former ‘gare d’Orsay’ in Paris, the Musée d’Orsay proudly presents the world’s most extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces. 

Recently, the museum embarked on a mission to revamp and reorganise their ‘Fond de Nef’, dedicated to the theme of the Opera district: ‘Paris, Capital of a Modern Nation’, in order to showcase its collections in a fresh and captivating manner.

The assignment & the challenges

Undertaking this project was not without its challenges, particularly with regard to the ‘Fond de Nef’ collections. This section comprised a variety of paintings and models, some of which were notably substantial in weight and size. For instance, the largest model, an impressive piece measuring 2.5 x 2.5m and weighing a colossal 350 kg, needed special attention.

To address these challenges, Meyvaert crafted four custom-made showcases, each tailored to present, preserve and protect a specific model. These showcases were carefully designed to ensure the seamless integration of the models, providing easy maneuverability for both installation and maintenance.

In tackling the task, the primary objective was to strike a balance between security and manageability while maintaining a visually minimalist appearance. 

The solutions & the result

For the largest model, a brilliant solution emerged: a fully removable base trolley was designed. This ingenious cart allows the 350 kg scale model to be easily positioned outside the display case, simplifying the installation process. Moreover, the trolley secures and facilitates the handling of the artwork within the showcase, ensuring future manipulations will go very smoothly. Given the narrow space where this showcase is situated, the installation of the 270 kg glass panels was an additional challenge that was effectively overcome.

For another remarkable scale model, a table showcase with a back-hinged glass cube was carefully crafted. This showcase ingeniously accommodates a scale model measuring approximately 1.3 x 2m and weighing 250 kg. The clever inclusion of sliders on the lower panel allows the base to slide out of the showcase, granting easy access during the installation process.

Drawing on our expertise and the skillful craftsmanship of our workshops, Meyvaert flawlessly executed a custom-made solution that expertly navigated the constraints of weight and size, all while maintaining simplicity, practicality, and cost-effectiveness. This mindful approach ensured that the installation process within the museum was seamless and aligned with the curators’ requirements. The end result was an aesthetic marvel that harmoniously complemented the overall splendor of this magnificent Parisian museum.

© Sophie Crépy

Project

Musée d'Orsay - Collections du Fond de Nef

Solutions

Smart Solutions
Custom

Country

France

Year

2022

Type of museum

Art Museum

Designer

Musée d'Orsay

Architect

Clémentine Cancel

Scope

1 table case, 1 wall case & 2 freestanding cases

More info

© Sophie Crépy


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