Bordeaux’s Design and Decorative Arts Museum is an all-in-one museum, exquisite both inside and out. A human-centric museum, accessible to young and old alike and ever-so easy to explore irrespective of one’s culture or knowledge. Just let your emotions flow!
The Hotel de Lalande, set at the very heart of the city, was built at the end of the Old Regime by a rich family of parliamentarians. It was one of the most outstanding dwellings in 18th-century Bordeaux. Two immense blue doors open out onto a paved courtyard and the perfectly-geometric façade is typical of the “classical” spirit, with high understated windows and a very elegant style.
An amazing treasure trove
The museum’s labyrinth of furnished, decorated rooms illustrates, in the minutest detail, bourgeois interiors from Bordeaux’s golden age, i.e. from the end of the 17th to the 19th century. In the antechamber of family rooms, everything is period furnished.
During the 18th century, traders and merchants would do everything to ensure their interiors showcased good taste. Perfectly in line with French Court refinement, the red-gold and silver-forged silverware, the porcelain tableware, hand-blown glasses, dishes from local manufactures and furniture inlayed with precious and exotic wood highlight the magnificent everyday life. Everything had to be beautiful to portray the opulence of the wealthy bourgeoisie, special objects for special families.
Each room is staged in such a way that the visitor can comprehend the daily life of the well-to-do of the times. For example, when you enter the immense dining room with its impressive chandeliers, you discover that there are no glasses on the table: the bottles along with a few glasses sit on an elegant buffet-style dresser.
What is fascinating is that the museum hosts a myriad of objects. And each of them relate the sociology of the private life of the bourgeoisie. Children of all ages and adults alike will enjoy stopping a moment in front of the display case centre-staging miniatures to admire the precision of these miniscule portraits. Or daydream in front of small, ever-so powerful yet incredibly-delicate bronzes, admire the blue China and stand in awe in front of the ever-so refined guilloché hand-engraved silver cutlery. The museum also hosts one of the richest collections in France of porcelain tableware, made in Bordeaux and the region.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design (MADD - Design and Decorative Arts Museum)
39 rue Bouffard 33000 Bordeaux. Tel: +33 (0)5 56 10 14 00.
Open from 11am to 6pm every day except Tuesday and public holidays (open 14 July and 15 August). Free every first Sunday of the month.
Price: €5; reduced price: €3. Bordeaux Museum Pass: Solo €25 / Duo €37.50.
Guided tours of permanent collections and exhibitions every Saturday and Sunday at 3pm (ticket price + €3).
Free visit booklets for adults and children at reception.
For 6 to 11-year-olds, a variety of game-focused and on-hands visual-art-based theme workshops are proposed. Children go on an introductory tour of the museum to discover the collections and exhibitions before the activities. Free for MADD Junior Team children: €10 per year. Every Wednesday afternoon. Booking required on +33 (0) 5 56 10 14 05.
Birthday parties organized.
Thursdays at the Museum
A theme, a get-together, a drink, every Thursday at 7pm. Price: €8; free for students. Booking required (number of places limited) on +33 (0)5 56 10 14 04. Sessions followed by a glass of wine offered by Médoc Crus Bourgeois.
Decorative objects, ceramics, glasses, Petrusse stoles, jewellery, books and more…
Restaurant and tea room, 39 rue Bouffard. Tel: +33 (0)5 57 34 28 46. Open the same days as the museum, from Wednesday to Sunday, lunchtime, from 12:30pm to 3pm. Fresh, simple menu offering a wide selection of vegetables. Wonderful outdoor terrace in the courtyard, as soon as the fine weather comes around. Main dish from €8 to €14, pastries €5. Tea room from 3pm to 6pm.
Bordeaux Metropole Tourist Office