Goppion showcases: the secret weapon of the Hussars in Tarbes

03 Mar 2012

The International Museum of the Hussars of Tarbes will be inaugurated on March 3rd. Goppion has produced the showcases and installations for this jewel of a museum, immersed in one of France’s Jardins Remarquables at the foot of the Pyrenees.

Tarbes, France – After being closed to the public for over ten years, the International Museum of the Hussars will be inaugurated on March 3rd. Situated in the center of Tarbes, the museum is immersed in a garden of exotic trees, the venturesome creation of Placide Massey (1777-1853), caretaker of the royal gardens at Versailles. We must also thank King Louis Philippe’s horticulturalist, who was born in Tarbes, for the construction of the building now housing the museum.

The recent restoration of the Neo-Moorish building and its characteristic watchtower involved both the exterior and the interiors. It included remodeling of the museum spaces and the creation of a museographic layout covering a total of 1,000 square meters.

Describing the saga of the Hussars in thirty countries over a period of four centuries, from 1545 to 1945, the exhibition is the outcome of a careful study conducted by the conservator Nicole Zapata to exalt the qualities of a considerable collection comprising military uniforms, emblems, and equipment, and iconographic materials, including a large number of paintings, prints, and drawings. The more than 17,000 objects in the collection are presented using multimedia technology with interactive showcases, electronic panels, audio-visual supports, and audio guides.

The quality and engineering of the showcases and installations place the Tarbes museum on a par with major international institutions such as the Louvre and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, who have turned to Goppion for the design and construction of their exposition systems.

The legendary undertakings of the Hussars, special army corps used for lightning raids, reconnaissance, and protecting communication lines, are masterfully brought back to life through historical materials displayed in a series of futuristic giant showcases, measuring up to 15 meters in length and 4 meters in height. These cases demanded customized, ad hoc technical solutions. Carefully engineered, high-strength hinges allow a person to effortlessly open glass fronts weighing up to 380 kg (the weight of an Arabian stallion) with a single hand.

The airtight showcases built by Goppion, working jointly with the Dubois Studio, for the Massey Museum represent the state of the art in preventive conservation of works of high artistic and historical value.

In addition to this collection tracing the history of the Hussars, the Massey Museum also includes a Fine Arts section displaying 1,200 works—paintings, prints, and sculptures.

Goppion. Principal installations completed in recent years

  • British Museum, London, The Wellcome Trust Gallery (2003)
  • The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, The Shrine of The Book (2004)
  • Musée du Louvre, Paris, Salle des Etats, Mona Lisa (2005)
  • Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, (2006)
  • Museum of the Moni Iviron Monastery, Mount Athos (2006)
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London, The Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art (2006)
  • The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, The Egyptian Galleries (2006)
  • Musée Depertemental del la Ceramique, Lezoux, (2006)
  • The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Ceramic Gallery (2007), African Gallery (2008), American Indian Gallery (2009), Egyptian Gallery (2010)
  • The Collection, Lincoln (2007)
  • National Archaeological Museum, Athens (2008)
  • Archaeological Museum, Ioannina (2008)
  • The Newseum, Washington (2008)
  • Museo di Arte Orientale, Turin, Chinese Art Section (2008)
  • The British Museum, London, Watches and Clock Gallery (2008)
  • Acropolis Museum, Athens (2009)
  • Museo Diocesano di Savona, (2009)
  • Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, (2009)
  • Musée de l’Armée , Paris (2009)
  • University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Multiversity Galleries (2010)
  • Musée du Louvre, Paris, Galerie de la Venus de Milo et de la Melpomene (2010)
  • The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Bronfman Archaeology Wing (2010)
  • The Smithsonian Institution, New York, National Museum of the American Indian (2010)
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Art of Americas Wing (2010)
  • Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo (2010)
  • Museo Galileo, Florence (2010)
  • Museo del Novecento, Milan, Display of Il Quarto Stato (2010)
  • Museo Archeologico, Milan (2011)
  • Musée Lalique, Wingen-sur-Moder (2011)
  • Shaanxi History Museum, Xi’An, Tang Dynasty Mural Painting Exhibition Hall (2011)
  • Musée d'Orsay, Les galeries impressionnistes, Amenagement de la Terrasse Lille. Paris (2011)
  • Musée d'Art classique, Mougins (2011)
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Limoges (2011)
  • Institute du Monde Arabe, Refonte du Musée, Paris (2012)
  • Musée International des Hussards, Tarbes (2012)

Goppion. Principal installations currently in progress

  • Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts de l'Islam, Paris
  • Louvre Lens, Lens
  • Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam
  • The Smithsonian Institution, National Postal Museum, Washington
  • The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, National Museum of the American Indian
  • The Art Institute of Chicago Museum, Chicago
  • The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, Bangkok

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