On completion of our morning walking tour of Lille we met our coach and were taken the few miles out of the centre of Lille to the nearby city of Roubaix (twinned with nearby Bradford, West Yorkshire) which is now incorporated into the Lille conurbation.
The Original 1932 Art Deco Entrance
The Swimming Pool Museum Entrance Today
“In October 2011, Lille’s Musée d’Art et d‘Industrie celebrated its tenth birthday, and a hugely successful decade of existence. Architect Jean-Paul Philippon converted the splendid Art Deco swimming baths into a museum, transforming the former changing rooms and cabins into “curiosity cabinets” overlooking the partly covered former swimming pool. The collections include paintings by Gérome, Fantin-Latour, Dufy and Tamara De Lempicka, and sculpture by François Pompon and Camille Claudel, plus ceramics by Pablo Picasso and an exceptional collection of textile samples and designs. Visitors come here from all over Europe for the acclaimed temporary exhibitions; recent subjects include The Bloomsbury Group, Pierre Loti, sculpture by Degas and the work of Paul Signac” [Adapted from my 2012 LV City Guide Lille, Lyon, Monaco, Toulouse]
Original Swimming Displays in the Museum
The main entrance lobby and display don’t prepare you for the museum itself. After the lobby and reception you step through the ‘showers’ and ‘footbaths’ and into the pool proper. There’s still some water but much reduced in size and even on the dull overcast Friday the area was filled with light.
On arrival Mike introduced us to the gallery and to two Art Nouveau stained glass windows on display then left us to our own devices for an hour before meeting us in the picture gallery and talking about several paintings relevant to our themes.
Théophile Laumonnerie – Memory of Autumn
By Jacques Gruber of Nancy
Stylised Art Deco: Part of the Debussy Monument : Young Woman Playing a Lute (1932)
Eric Kennington of The New English Art Club: La Cuisine Ambulante (1914)
Sir William Rothenstein’s The Artsist’s Son and his Wife
And I always find time to check out the quirky gifts and buy postcards in the Museum Shop – La Piscine no exception!