A visit to the Musée de l’Elysée

By My-Lausanne
English

Lausanne is a photogenic town: the lake, the mountains, the alleyways of the centre… Places that will delight Instagrammers (#NoFilter). Professionals and amateurs of photography will also find another favourite place: the Musée de l’Elysée, by the lake, one of the most important museums dedicated solely to photography.


The visit begins in the Elysée Park; once the main gate is crossed, we follow the gravel path up to the old building that houses the museum. We can already guess at the stunning view at the end of the path, but we’ll keep that for after. We walk through the villa’s door and the visit can start.

(c) LT/www.diapo.chThree floors and as many atmospheres. The ground-floor rooms are spacious, with high ceilings. The visit is silent and punctuated by the creaking of the floorboards, adding a particular charm. On the vast white walls, the photographs are attractively showcased with a frame and a spotlight illuminating them.

 

LT/www.diapo.ch

 

The visit of the exhibition continues on the first floor, in the villa’s attic. The grey fitted carpet and wooden beams immerse us in a wholly different atmosphere. Once more, our gaze is drawn only to the photographs. This floor also has a pedagogical ambition. The Studio offers fun activities for children. They can discover how the museum and its foundation manage the ever-growing number of collections, from the study of the photographs to their digitalisation. They also learn how to look after or repair damaged images. In the end, even the older children learn something.

And then there is this intriguing large screen, on the left of the entrance, on which we’re invited to complete the sentence: “Photography is…”. Some of the day’s visitors have given it a go: “it’s cool”, as well as “it’s an imaginary window on reality”.

The visit continues in the basement, where the atmosphere changes once more. The rooms are narrower and the walls are light coloured, as is the tiled floor. We discover the second temporary exhibition that links photography to notebooks and sound clips.

Once the visit is over, we enjoy a break at the Café Élyse. A cosy place, luminous and colourful: perfect to have a drink and discuss the exhibition while nibbling on a snack. In a corner of the room, we even spot a vintage photo booth (to be tested before leaving). And for those who dislike having their photo taken, there is still the large library that connects the café, welcome desk and boutique.

(c) retoDuriet.com

On leaving the villa, we head straight for the park that links the Elysée to the lakeside. A compulsory detour! After admiring the works of professionals, it’s the opportunity to try out our artistic talents and enjoy the view.

 

Exhibitions

The museum is closed for installation until October 17.