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“Disappointing & pricey / décevant, mauvais rapport qualité-prix” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Musee des Tissus et des Arts Decoratif

Musee des Tissus et des Arts Decoratif
34 rue de la Charite, 69002 Lyon, France (Carnot - Gailleton)
33 04 78 38 42 00
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Lyon City Card
Ranked #31 of 145 things to do in Lyon
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: A historic collection of textiles and decorative arts.
Perth, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Disappointing & pricey / décevant, mauvais rapport qualité-prix”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

"Must do better" is an understatement.

I'll start by saying the objects collected here are, or at least would be, very interesting to me. I love this kind of stuff, but the interpretation and layout is appallingly bad. The very positive reviews here stun me. The only positives I can mention are the temporary exhibit, which is well set out/lit/interpretively signed (I suspect it was designed by an outside body), and the bookshop. The rest is very, very disappointing.

Worst of all is the decorative arts section, which is generally my favourite. This appears to have been laid out 30, 40 or possibly even 50 years ago and not updated since. Extremely dimly lit rooms: I can just about buy the "we need to keep the light low to preserve the objects" message to some extent, but on the staircase where no fragile objects were kept and the light was so low that I could barely see the next step? In a room full of silverware (which was one of the darkest)? No. Ludicrous.

The actual room layout and interpretive signs: some rooms were full of apparently unlabelled objects. Oh hang on, no, there was a haphazard massing of tiny interpretive cards, in minute text, jumbled higgledy-piggledy on a table in the corner. If I leant my full body length over the red cordon to read the ones closest (the others were too far away to be legible), they would say something (in French only) like "Wardrobe, Lyon, 1756." Boring, uninspiring, unhelpful. And which wardrobe? There are two in the room!

Sometimes items would be labelled... but they were on the mantelpiece on the opposite side of a room you couldn't enter (cordoned off at one end) and the lettering was the usual tiny font that you had to read from a couple of inches away to understand it at all.

The textiles section is moderately better: a somewhat more contemporary display style which is more engaging and in part better labelled. One BIG problem is that the large interpretive signs in the first few rooms say something along the lines of "An English translation can be found on the information sheets at the entrance to this room". There are no information sheets. There are not even empty containers which once contained information sheets. Apparently this has been going on since at least June last year (7 months) according to other reviews. I can luckily read French, but if I was one of the many non-French speaking/reading visitors (at least two groups of whom bought tickets just before me) I would be extremely pissed off.

A quarter to a half of the exhibits had no information/interpretive signs whatsoever, and those that did were again in tiny text and along the lines of "Fabric with fruit design, mid-1600s, Spain." Thrilling, not.

What made the experience all the more disappointing was that these objects are genuinely beautiful and interesting, but I cannot engage with them in a meaningful way if I'm given little or no information about them. Surely the people who manage this collection know a little more about the objects in their care? Why not share that information with the general public, especially as you're charging more for entry than any other musée in Lyon? I have to wonder, where does all that money go? Certainly not on maintaining the exhibits!

Oh yes, I almost forgot. For your 10 euros entry fee you do not even get a secure place to leave your coat/bag should you want one, which is a big problem in mid-winter. You can, if you want to take the risk, leave your outer garments hanging on one of the unmonitored clothes racks in the front lobby. Come ON! The Musée des Beaux-arts of Lyon provides a free vestiare where your coats/bags are securely stored, for 7 euros entry. Another small Lyon museum, the Musée Gadagne, provides free lockers at a lower entry fee. Both of those museums have vastly larger collections in a much better maintained condition and with infinitely more useful interpretive signs. AND the lighting is much better, even in the sections of the Musée des Beaux-arts that contain antiquities from 5 to 6 THOUSAND years ago!

Visited January 2014
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Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
121 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
“One of the best ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

This is one of the most beautiful museum of clothing I have visited. Its collections include very ancient artfacts as well as more recent ones, all of outstanding beauty and value. At present there is an exhibition of Coptic clothing found on skeletons buried centuries ago. These clothing were restored and are now presented together with a gigantic photo of a model wearing the dress as it would have been in the past! Very well done!! Do not miss a visit at their excellent museum shop, where many beautiful objects can be purchased, mainly of silk, which used to be produced in Lyon until very recently.

Visited December 2013
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Hamburg, Germany
Top Contributor
228 reviews 228 reviews
111 attraction reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
“Surprisingly interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

To be honest, I am not terribly interested in tissues and draperies and the like, but this museum surprised me with a well laid-out exhibition on various types of textiles throughout the ages, including some truly beautiful specimens from local producers. Quite fascinating and well worth the visit.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Lovely place. A must for anyone interested in clothes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

This is a beautiful museum, full of really interesting items from ancient scraps of materials to tapestries and modern versions of very early costumes. The shop also has some really lovely items, great as gifts!

Visited December 2013
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Athens, Greece
Top Contributor
192 reviews 192 reviews
60 attraction reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
“An amazing museum!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

The museum of Textiles and Decorative Arts is a magnificent museum. It’s actually two museums, one containing furniture and objects of art, and the other containing fabrics and garments. The building itself was an 18th century private residence. The Decorative Arts part contains wonderful furniture, silk woven tapestries, paintings, an array of clocks and objects of everyday use from the 15th century onwards.
The Textile Museum, displays in an amazing way the historic progress of fabrics across the centuries in Western and Eastern Europe. Tapestries and carpets from Byzantium and Asia minor, vestments from Italy and France. It also shows the history of silk production, and the unique craftsmanship and design in Lyon through the royal dresses of 18th and 19th century.
It is absolutely recommended.

Visited November 2013
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