In 1850, the Lorraine Museum opened its first gallery to the public. Since then the Museum has grown significantly, offering an exhibition area of 4,500m2 today spread over several outstanding buildings in the heart of the Old City; the Dukes’ Palace, built by the Dukes of Lorraine, a fine example of early Renaissance architecture in eastern France, the 16th Century Franciscan Convent and Church with tombs of the Lorraine family in its crypt...
To enhance its superb buildings and collections, the Museum is currently benefitting from to a series of renovations to be carried out by Nancy City Council and the Museum itself with support from the French Government, Lorraine Regional Council, and the History of Lorraine Society. These renovations will not impact on the tourist experience.
The Museum has works representative of the artistic and cultural life of the region. Objects from daily life, weapons from different civilisations: prehistoric, Gallo-Roman, and Merovingian are some of the fascinating examples of this life, as are items from the Middle Ages and a number of beautiful religious and funerary sculptures. Highlights of Renaissance art include works by Ligier Richier (in the Franciscan Church), and an important collection of stained glass windows and sculptures, such as Christ in the Garden of Olives. Georges de La Tour’s paintings and Jacques Callot’s prints are set off by other magnificent works produced during the reign of Stanislas. The Museum’s exhibition of regional 18th and 19th century faïence (Fine tin-glazed earthenware) is a collection by which others should be judged. Other special collections on show in the museum include a gallery of miniatures and two galleries devoted to Jewish religious objects. Daily life in Lorraine, from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, is depicted in arts and crafts and in the ethnographic collection in the Franciscan Convent: regional furniture, popular faïence and household items shown in highly evocative, traditional Lorraine interiors.
The Lorraine Museum has begun a major programme to extend and reorganise its collections, which is due for completion in 2020. Some parts of the museum may be closed due to this work. Ask at the Tourist Office or the Lorraine Museum.