La Nuit des Musées 2011… another night of museum hopping, part 2…

We spent quite sometime in the area near the old town … mainly because there are several museums located there.

Just next to the Lausanne History Museum that we had visited earlier was another must-see museum for that night and our sixth stop for the event …

… mudac (Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains) … which as you can see from the crowd outside (and even inside although you cannot see it here) … was very popular that night! In fact, in one of the exhibition rooms, we were asked to wait to allow some of the visitors inside that room to leave before we were allowed to go in as the room was simply packed with people! A reasonable request … since most of the exhibits are in the open and very fragile … so better to exercise some caution to avoid any unfortunate and unwanted accident … both to the exhibits and the visitors lah! 🙂

Unfortunately unlike at the History Museum, which allows photography as long one does not use flash, they are more strict about photographs, here (probably because of copyright reasons). This was a  pity as there were several very interesting creative works on display that night. So, although we stayed at mudac for quite sometime to look at the various ceramic exhibits on display, we do not have many photos to share.

But I just could not resist taking quick shots of some art pieces (relating to plants and flowers, what else!!) that had caught my eye. I quite liked these round flat vases which they had fixed onto the wall … a beautiful and creative wall decoration, I thought. They reminded me of the wall vases that I had bought several years ago with the idea of achieving quite a similar effect … but which have yet to see the light of any wall!!! Since we are renting right now …  I guess they will have to wait for several more years before they get to come out of our storage boxes!! 😦

This was one of the centre piece on display … but since it was well guarded, I could only take a photo of it … from the front cover of a book (published on the occasion of a contemporary ceramic biennale that was held in Italy) on display at the museum bookshop! Not a good substitute, really … but at least I got to take a picture of this piece which I really, really liked lah!

One thing that never fails to make me smile, though, whenever we make a visit to mudac is this sign …

… to one of the popular small rooms in the museum, for sure! heheheh … 🙂

From mudac … we made our way down to the museums located in Palais de Rumine at Riponne. We visited three different museums while we were there.

The first museum (in the Palais, but the seventh for the event) we stopped by … was the Museum of Zoology (Musée cantonal de zoologie). The museum is quite interesting primarily because it does not seem to have evolved much since the early twentieth century in terms of how the exhibits are presented … and hence it could be viewed as a ‘museum of a museum’ or a ‘dinosaur of a museum’ (in fact, the skeleton of a mammoth is one of their most interesting exhibits). 😉

The hubby looking at the display of birds inside the display case in one of the exhibition halls. In case you wonder what the group of (young) people at the end of the wing were busy admiring … ?

It was this huge shark! 🙂

In a much smaller room … while the hubby took a look around, I decided to sit on a bench I saw there … to rest … while doing a bit of people-watching instead of stuffed animal-watching! hehehe … 🙂

As I was not really into stuffed animals, we did not cover all the exhibition halls in Museum of Zoology but soon made our way down to the first floor to go to another museum on that floor. But I have to say that I was really impressed, and have always been, with the beautiful architecture of Palais de Rumine. It was built with the funds bequeathed in 1841 by a Russian prince, Gabriel de Rumine, to the city of Lausanne … under the condition that the money was invested until the amount was doubled and that the money would then be used to erect a building of public utility. This probably explains why Palais de Rumine was inaugurated only in 1906.

The two-columns (which reminded me of the ones I saw in Italy), the ceiling, the frescoes … they all look so beautiful to me. But then, this is not THAT surprising given that the hubby tells me that the building was designed to look like an Italian renaissance palace!

Entrance to Musée Cantonal de Géologie (Museum of Geology), which unlike its sister, the Museum of Zoology, offers modern and interactive displays.

The museum uses modern display furniture as well as special lighting to showcase its treasures …

… be these precious stones, more ordinary stones, meteorites, fossils, etc.

The temporary exhibition at this museum was on meteorites … a fascinating subject (until 15 January 2012).

Some fragments of meteorites from Mars and the Moon … and I was even able to touch one … which is probably the only exhibit one is invited to touch at Palais de Rumine! 🙂 This was the first time that I actually stepped into the Museum of Geology, even though I had passed it several times before … and I have to say that I was quite pleased that we did so.

From here we proceeded to our next stop … where we had to deposit our bags in a locker … which  when you consider the exhibit that we actually saw … was quite unnecessary!!

For some very, very strange reason (perhaps related to the fact that the deadline for the new art museum project was in late June), the exhibition at Musée des Beaux Arts (Art Museum), the flagship museum at Palais Rumine, appeared to be a last-minute teaser (a few photographs on a wall plus a video going on in a loop) to their forthcoming temporary exhibition ‘When art makes us laugh’ (running from 8 October 2011 until 12 January 2012). The least we can say was this did not make us want to laugh … uh, uh … 

So … we did not stay long and hopped over to our next stop … museum number ten!

Entrance to Espace Arlaud, a building inaugurated in 1841 thanks to funds donated by the painter Louis Arlaud to create a museum and art school for the Canton of Vaud, which had recently joined the Swiss Confederation and which the donator wanted to see it play an active role in such matters at the national level. What a pity wealthy people no longer use their money for such worthy purposes here in Switzerland in the 21st century … the hubby claims. Espace Arlaud is now used as an annex for temporary exhibitions put up by Musée des Beaux Arts (Art Museum) or the Museum of Sciences.

This part of the exhibition (organised by the Museum of Geology) focused on the infinitesimal small (millimetres or even smaller: micro or nano) … as revealed by modern instruments.

One of the fascinating, infinitesimally small objects made visible to our eyes by modern technology. Interestingly this room was initially empty … but as we stood there to watch the video projected on the screen … more and more people started to come in to join us!

The hubby and a few other visitors that night … peering through microscopes to discern some beautiful object. Of course, I did so, too lah! It was me who encouraged the hubby to have a look. 🙂

The remaining floor was devoted to a contemporary artist, Catherine Bollé, who was present and would explain to visitors two of her hallmark techniques: tempera and ferro-gallic ink. I was tempted to stay and see her explaining her techniques (even though my grasp of the French language is so rudimentary) … just for the experience lah … but the hubby was keen that we made our move so that we would still be on time for the last museum … before the museum night ended. Oh well … another time, perhaps!

Entrance to Fondation de l’Hermitage, which serves the dual purpose of preserving this magnificent 19th century mansion (with a stunning view of the lake, located on the other side of the forest of Sauvabelin) and of staging two to three temporary exhibitions each year devoted to 19th/20th century Western painting. This particular exhibition showcased the masterpieces of The Arthur and Hedy Hahnloser Collection at Villa Flora in Winterthur (Switzerland) with some 150 works from the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, including several Swiss painters (amongst whom, the hubby’s favourite Vaudois painter, Félix Vallotton).

As we were not allowed to enter the building with a camera (the paintings on display belonged to a private collection), we were not able to take any photographs … inside. So … I can only show these outside shots lah!

By the time we finished our visit of Fondation de l’Hermitage, it was close to 2.00am. From here, we took the last shuttle bus that would take us back to Riponne where we could change to another bus that would take us back uphill towards Sallaz … which is closer to home.

But we did not immediately go back home from there, but proceeded to check out what all the fuss was about the party at this place known as TRIDEL.

Entrance to TRIDEL, the waste treatment plant that transforms garbage from the Canton of Vaud into heat or electricity (and thereby meets the energy needs of some 20,000 homes) and which is situated about one kilometre from our place.

True to this year’s theme, the impressive circular ramp … wide enough to accommodate two lorries transporting the waste into the plant’s giant furnaces … was lit up in greenish hues and displayed posters of the allotment gardens found in the programme booklet of La Nuit des Musées …

This panorama shows two shots of the circular ramp leading to the huge underground railway hall.

For La Nuit des Musées, the plant’s railway hall had been converted into a huge disco. After all, the place is sufficiently large to accommodate a train with five wagons!

Some of the old train wagons were creatively converted into private area as well as a display area for some of the sponsors. It seemed that the party was highly popular … especially among the young adults. No wonder we had seen so many young adults coming into the museums located near la Riponne starting from 10pm as the CHF10 entry ticket to La Nuit des Musées was also valid for this disco party! Hhhmm … maybe I ought to suggest to my former employer, the National Library Board of Singapore … which is always striving to boost library attendance numbers, to adopt the same tactics to attract young adults to its libraries … hehehe …  😉

And if you are interested to see the video on the publicity for the NDM … you can check it out below …

Other entries on La Nuit de Musées: 


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