25, rue Richelieu

Musée Des Beaux Arts Et De La Dentelle

Calais's collection was almost totally destroyed in 1940. Its rebirth has taken four main directions, covering 19th and 20th century sculpture, lacework, works on paper and contemporary art. The museum today has limited space to display these works in a sixties building and is therefore planning to move its lace collection to a tulle factory at the heart of the town. This will become a European museum for Lace work. The Fine Arts museum will be renovated and new, ambitious display programmes are planned.
The Musée des Beaux Arts et de la Dentelle now houses a rich sculpture collection, an exceptional collection of lace, numerous works on paper and a growing contemporary art collection.

Permanent Collection

The imposing presence of Rodin's Monument to the Burghers of Calais, situated opposite the town hall a stone's throw away has influenced the museum's sculpture collection. It has therefore been built up around the artist's models and drawings for the monument. Contemporaries of Rodin have also been collected to recall the diversity of styles, media and subjects in late 19th century French sculpture. There are works by Bourdelle, Maillol, Poupelet, Carrier-Belleuse and Carpeaux, a native of Valenciennes.
Laurens, Gaudier-Brezska, Fautrier, Zadkine, Gargallo, Del Marle and Germaine Richier chart the evolution of sculpture in the first part of the 20th century. Sculpture in the second half of the century has a British bias with works by Anthony Caro, John Latham, Bill Woodrow, David Nash, Barry Flanagan, Richard Deacon. Picasso, François Morellet, Takis, Marcel Broodthaers, Eric Dietman and Dieter Roth complete this section which provides a wonderful insight into the art of 20th century sculpture.


Calais was the centre for lace production in the 19th century. The exceptional collections of lace evoke what became a flagship industry for Calais. There are books of samples - 1236 volumes from the period 1845-1940 showing around 300 000 separate pieces. Detailed illustrations of lace work gives an idea of styles in other production centres at Venise, Alençon, Valenciennes, Malines and Bruxelles with 200 volumes containing 30 000 illustrations.
The collections of handmade lace samples from 15th-19th century Italy and Flanders and machine made lace from Calais, Caudry, Lyon, Plauen, Saint-Gall have been enlarged to include machinery, ...+ [ Read all ]

Opening hours

Open every day except Tuesday from 10am to 12pm, and from 2pm to 5.30pm.

Open on Saturday from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 6.30pm.
Open on Sunday from 2pm to 6.30pm.

Museum internal and external photos (1)

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