The association


The “Association des Musées Bourbonnais” (Association of the Bourbonnais Museums) was created on the initiative of the “Conseil Général de l’Allier” (the Allier Departmental Council) on December 19, 1987. It aims at gathering all the representatives of the Allier museums and at offering museum and scientific services to the museums which do not have skilled staffs.

The idea of a departmental association was first retained as the easiest way to federate volunteers, members of the associations and heads of the local authorities in charge of the collections open to the public. Indeed, the creation of an association imposes no constraints and anyone can take part in that project. For instance, departmental funds enabled the association to have a director at its head from March 1988 to June 2006. His role was to propose and implement some common or specific actions in the museums, while ensuring a strong link with the cultural services of the department.

Since July 2006, this position is directly attached to the cultural services of the “Conseil Général de l’Allier”. The director is thus responsible for the rural heritage, the local museums and the museums belonging to the association.

Because of its agreement with the “Conseil Général de l’Allier”, the association is always in charge of some missions aimed at the museums which are members of it.

Its purpose

This association aims at

  • organizing training and information courses for the staff and the volunteers of the museums
  • designing, making and publishing scientific reviews
  • collaborating to the creation of the internet website (C3) of the Department
  • organizing conferences and lectures on works of art or exhibitions
  • organizing thematic exhibitions bringing together the works of several museums
  • considering the creation of a departmental reserve collection
  • thinking about the preservation and the inventory of the works of art.

Its activities

Thanks to the Association, a certain number of museums were either created or reorganized; many exhibitions were also held.

* Creation of new museum spaces (research linked to these future facilities and creation of scientific comities):

  • The Bourbonnais Museum in Moulins: rooms of the Order of the Visitation
  • Emile-Mâle Museum in the multimedia library of Commentry (private collection)
  • Museum of Souvigny

* Programs, projects and implementation of museum facilities:

  • Rural Museum of the Sologne bourbonnaise in Beaulon
  • Emile-Guillaumin Museum in Ygrande
  • Museum of the Land Equipment in Valignat
  • Museum of the Vineyard and the Country in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule
  • Museum of Cusset

* Organization of temporary exhibitions:

  • Museum of Chantelle :
    1996: Marcel Fournier, a painter and seagoing navigator 1869-1917 (catalogue)
    1998: The 1920s in the Bourbonnais: Métenier and the art of flambé stoneware
    1999: Around the statues in Chantelle
    2000: The trial of the Bourbon constable
    2002: Santiago de Compostela in the Bourbonnais
  • Museum-Castle of Bost :
    1997: The Bourbon family in the Bourbonnais
    1998: The Bourbon-Parme family
    2000: Zita of Bourbon-Parme, Empress of Austria
  • Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule Museum :
    1998: Lucien Pénat, a painter and engraver
  • Municipal Museum of Gannat :
    2002: The Carolingian Evangelistary in Gannat
    2003: Art deco and Art Nouveau in Gannat: the Métenier stoneware
  • Museum of Souvigny (reorganization of the museum and participation in catalogues with the international scientific community) :
    1998: the Virgin in the Bourbon country
    1999: The Souvigny Bible: a new insight into it
    2000: The Clicquot organ in Souvigny
    2001: Expectations: the religious patronage of the Bourbon Dukes at the end of the Middle Ages
    2002: A revelation: the monumental Romanesque frieze of Souvigny
    2003: Tombs, relics and saints: the discovery of the tombs and recumbent statues of the Holy abbots in Cluny
    2004: From the Romanesque to the Gothic, the recent discoveries and restorations of medieval and religious sculptures in the Allier department
    2005: Chronos and cosmos: the Romanesque pillar of Souvigny
    2006: A small abecedary of sacred art
  • Vichy, Lardy university centre (exhibition federating the museums of the department):
    2003: The imaginary museum of the Bourbonnais
  • Priory Church of Saint-Germain-des-Fossés :
    2007: Lucien Pénat (1873-1955)
    2008: participation in the reorganization of remains from archaeological dig (report writing and exhibition)
  • Departmental Town House in Moulins :
    2007-2008: The Bourbonnais lands. The land and its customs through the collections from the Allier museums
  • Museum of Cusset
    2008: Jacques Missé, a sculptor (1919-1998)

* Training of the Allier museums staffs since 1999: organization and animation of training courses, lectures (the history of the Allier museums, the ethnographic heritage, beginners’ courses in landscape history, rural architecture, history and art history in the Bourbonnais, the control of the collections, their preservation and security…)

* Cultural initiatives aimed at the public and cultural tourism:

  • Promotional leaflets published by the department and available in every museum of the department
  • Explanatory documents for the visits
  • guided tours
  • creation of the Federation of the Cluny Sites in 1994 (feasibility study, preliminary inventory of the sites, contacts, elaboration of the statutes)
  • The Trail of the Bourbon Dukes (by the “Conseil Général de l’Allier”)
  • Common research work for the future museum network funded by Europe, “Leader +”
  • Tour of the Romanesque churches in the Allier (association “La Méridienne”)
  • passport “Allen” published by the C.D.T

The members of the Association

AUDES - Museum of the Berry Canal
BELLENAVES - Automobile Museum
BOURBON L'ARCHAMBAULT - Augustin-Bernard Muséum
BOURBON L'ARCHAMBAULT - Château de Bourbon-l’Archambault
CERILLY - Charles-Louis Philippe Museum-House
CHANTELLE - Exhibition hall of the Tourism House
CHAREIL-CINTRAT - Conservatory of Ancient Grape Varieties of Saint-Pourçain
CHARROUX - Museum of Charroux and its district
CHATELPERRON - Prehistorama “Between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon”
CHATELUS - School Museum
COMMENTRY - Emile Mâle Heritage Area
COULEUVRE - The Porcelain Museum of Couleuvre
CUSSET - The Prison Tower and the Underground
ECHASSIERES - Wolframines Museum / House of Minerals
FLEURIEL - Historial of the peasant soldier
GANNAT - Paléopolis
GANNAT - Yves Machelon Museum
HURIEL - Museum of the Dungeon of Toque
JENZAT - The Stringed-instrument maker’s House
LE BREUIL - Milling Museum – Montciant Mill
MONTAIGU-LE-BLIN - The Rural Museum of Montaigu-Le-Blin
MONTLUÇON - Popular Music Muséum – MuPop
MOULINS - Anne de Beaujeu Museum and Mantin House – MAB
MOULINS - Building Musem
MOULINS - Château des Ducs de Bourbon “La Mal-Coiffée”
MOULINS - Illustration of the Youth Museum – MIJ
NERIS-LES-BAINS - Gallo-Roman Museum
SAINT-FÉLIX - Josette Bournet Museum
SAINT-NICOLAS-DES-BIEFS - Glasworker’s Museum
SAINT-POURÇAIN-SUR-SIOULE - The Museum of the Vineyard and the Country
SOUVIGNY - Museum and Priory Church
VERNEUIL-EN-BOURBONNAIS - Museum Washing and Ironing
VICHY - Albert Londres House
VICHY - The African and Asian Arts Museum
VICHY - The Opera of Vichy Museum
YGRANDE - Émile Guillaumin Museum