The memory of images

The iconographic collection of the Canton de Vaud

Tuesday to Sunday, 11pm - 6pm.
September 18, 2015 - January 3, 2016

As part of the events organized in honor of its 30th anniversary, the Musée de l’Elysée is presenting the first exhibition devoted to the iconographic collection. Founded in 1896 by the pastor Paul Vionnet (1830-1914), this collection, focused on the history of the Canton of Vaud, is at the very origin of the Musée de l’Elysée in 1985 as a museum dedicated to the image. Consisting of a wide variety of objects, it now contains hundreds of thousands of phototypes (negatives, prints, contact sheets, albums) covering the history of the medium from its beginnings in the 1840s up until the 1980s.

The selection includes more than 500 pieces – most of which have never before been exhibited – and is organized into three parts: the first floor chronicles the history of the collection, beginning with the work of Paul Vionnet, one of the pioneers of local photography, up until the creation of the Musée historiographique vaudois. A dozen of the major themes underlying the collections such as heritage inventories can be found on the top floor. The ground floor is devoted to the outstanding names in local photography whose works have enriched the iconographic collection since the 1960s as part of a policy to enhance photography.

The exhibition is a co-production of the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne and the Musée de l’Elysée as part of the policy to enhance this unique collection and to reflect on how it can be shared between the two institutions in order to improve its conservation and access.

Curator: Anne Lacoste, assisted by Christelle Michel, Pascale Pahud and Maelle Tappy, in conjunction with Silvio Corsini, curator of the rare book collection of the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne, and Olivier Lugon, professor at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lausanne.

The exhibition, The Memory of Images: the Iconographic Collection of the Canton of Vaud, was made possible through the support of Memoriav, the Loterie Romande, the Fondation Leenaards and the Fondation Fern Moffat.

Website of The memory of images

Francis II DE JONGH, Portrait de femme, 1900 – 1920 © Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne

Paul VIONNET, La Pierre des Servagios à Saint-Luc, Val d'Anniviers © Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne

Francis II DE JONGH, Portrait de femme, sans date, © Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne

Max MAIER, sans titre, vers 1925 © Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne

DE JONGH Frères, Ouvriers chaudronniers en Russie, vers 1898 © Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne


Christmas and New Year Holidays

Gaston de Jongh © Musée de l'Elysée

December 21, 2015 - closed
December 25, 2015 - closed
December 28, 2015 - closed
January 1, 2016 - closed

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Exhibition poster

Exhibition catalogue

La mémoire des images

The Musée de l’Elysée and the Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne (BCU) are publishing the first book devoted to the iconographic collection of the Canton of Vaud, illustrated with some one hundred images from the collection.

Available at the bookshop

Children book

Des photos à lire et à compter

This alphabet primer presents a selection of photographs from the iconographic collection of the Musée de l’Elysée. It is designed to help children learn to read.

Available at the bookshop


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