Musée de Vire Normandie

Musée de Vire Normandie

Vire Museum (English)

Vire Museum houses a collection ranging from art to local history, and is to be found in Vire’s old 18th century hospital. The museum’s collections retrace the 19th century history of the Bocage, with a display of traditional clothing, furniture and artisanal workshops. A collection of tableware retraces the industrial history of the region (with a focus on Guy Degrenne). Paul Huet (1803-1869) and Charles Léandres (1862-1934) are two of the artists featured in the Fine Arts collection.

Opening times
The museum is open from 4th May to 30th October 2016
Wednesday to Sunday: 10 -12:30 am and 2 - 6 pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Admission (Museum + Exhibition)
Full price: 3 euros
Concessions for disabled, school groups, -26s, ICOM card holders, unemployed.
Admission is free for all on the first Sunday of each month.

Musée de Vire
2, place Sainte-Anne – Vire F-14500 Vire Normandie – France

Phone: +33 (0)2 31 66 66 50
For further information:

Vire Museum offers an English translation of the museum guide, as well as children’s games and quizzes in English.

A Brief History

Vire Museum was once a hospital run by Augustinian nuns. The hospice was built at the end of the 18th century where an original religious community had been founded in the 12th century. The Augustinian nuns had established themselves here in 1661, but the current building the Museum is housed in was only built in 1703, according to plans by Jean-Baptiste Flotard. The building was listed as a historical monument in 1975.
In 1956, the nuns moved back to Coutances, after 300 years of residency in Vire. The town hall bought the building in 1956, which had been left empty and available to use as a new home for the Museum which had burned down in the bombings of the 6th of June 1944. The Museum had been founded in 1836, by Arcisse de Caumont, and had been housed in the old town hall until the Second World War.

The museum as it stands today was officially inaugurated in 1972. Over the course of the years, the museum has grown in size thanks to help from the government and private donations, and is now one of the 1218 Museums of France.

Exhibition, 2016

Culinary art in France
17th-20th centuries

Exhibitions, 2014 :

After the landing... Vire, 1944-1965
(30th April to 2nd November, 2014)

Ernest Pignon-Ernest et les peintres caravagesques
(28th June to 26th October, 2014)

Exhibition, 2013 – Water, Heaven or Hell?

During the second half of the 19th century, a rising fascination for water resulted in the development of seaside tourism, of transport by water, as well as the development of hydraulic power, which was a driving force of the French Industrial Revolution.

The young artists of the time abandoned their studios to paint, with a particular interest for the changes that the 19th century landscapes were undergoing. Beaches, bridges and ports, as well as steamboats and factories were at the heart of their work. This new movement, rejected by the art critics of the time, was to become one of the most renowned worldwide: Impressionism.

The valleys of Vire were an object of fascination for these young painters: with its revolutionary factories, not to mention its formidable landscapes, Vire was coveted as a site of industrial prowess, and was to become a space prised by the Impressionists.

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