THE NEW ROUTE
A journey through time
The art of presenting and staging is intended to make the objects speak but also, to speak of different eras. So in addition to the ethnographic route, where objects are examined in order to understand their meaning and uses, there is a “museum’s museum”, both routes continuing to the present day and the current questions about Provençal society. The Museon Arlaten, formerly a “memory factory” which opened on its current site in 1909, is now a “society museum” for the 21st century.
These two core routes through the Museon Arlaten wind through five Periods, from the museum’s foundations to today.
Period 1: The origins of the Museon Arlaten
Period 2: The museum in the 1900s. Frédéric Mistral’s Provence
Period 3: The museum in the 1940s. Folklore and identity
Period 4: The museum in the 1970s. Spotlight on the arts and popular traditions
Period 5: The museum today. Life stories and views on modern-day Provence.
Fidelity and innovation
The new route allows certain rooms, display cases and spaces to be rediscovered “as before”. Other sequences have been recreated. Finally, two major new innovations set the stage for the visit:
- the grand staircase, designed by the renovation architect Michel Bertreux, is enhanced by two creations by Christian Lacroix. Opening onto all floors, its décor has been designed by the great Arles designer as “a gesture of gratitude and love” for the collections of the Museon Arlaten gathered here and freely rebuilt in two large, backlit, glass totems.
- the fully restored Jesuit Chapel is finally connected to the museum and will offer a sumptuous, large setting for temporary exhibitions.
56 multimedia devices to give voice to the collections
Image, sound and interactivity are used to showcase the objects, revealing their secrets and enhancing the visitor experience. These unique perspectives mean that visitors can more easily interpret what they are seeing. However, there is no question of making heritage treasures disappear behind all kinds of screens! To the contrary, they are given a new lease of life through the multiple opportunities to offer more detailed information, discoveries and historical contexts.
At the end of the sequence, interpretation spaces provide a review of what has been seen using films, games and quizzes on interactive screens. Other spaces are more poetic, offering visitors places where they can consider genuine multimedia creations, sound and image frescos that combine scientific words with artistic vision.
A museum accessible to all
The museum with children: it's possible! Exploration tools are available on request at the reception desk and there are games to be discovered on the digital devices throughout the museum. A series of games such as the “Provençal Antiquity Quiz”, the “Game of Rhône”, “Cerco que Cercaras” (always looking), “Clothes and us”, “Planet Mas”, “Mistral against River, the museographers’ match”... enhance the visitor experience. Families can also collect a Muséojeux bag from the reception desk, a bag of tricks through which parents, children, teenagers, grandparents, nannies and others are challenged to mime, hum and invent, without fear of making a mistake, for an entertaining exploration and discovery of the museum.
People with disabilities can also fully enjoy the museum. Fully accessible, it offers a touch tour so visitors with visual impairments can visit the permanent exhibition independently. The audio-description of this tour will be available for download through an application. There are sound installations at points along the route and adapted activities are a regular feature at the museum.
The museum also provides a variety of activities and devices adapted for people with hearing impairments. Tours in French sign language (LSF) are scheduled regularly and the reception desk and conference room are equipped with a hearing loop.
School children, researchers, disadvantaged groups and social actors also benefit from tailored support.