Museum of Tapestry and Textile Arts

Place Reine Astrid
7500 Tournai
tel. : +32 69 84 20 73
email : musee.tapisserie@tournai.be
 
The Museum of Tapestry and Textile Arts, inaugurated in June 1990, is located in a former mansion house in neo-classic style designed by the talented architect Bruno RENARD. This new museum is not only an exhibition hall but also a place where tapestry weavers make tapestries or restore them. There is also a textile art research centre.

Actually Tournai has always been a privileged place for tapestry, especially in the XVth century, which was the golden age of tapestry. At that time, more than 200 tapestry weavers used to work in the town workshops and the produced works were exported in all Europe.
 
 
Tournai tapestries of the XVth and XVIth centuries are some of the most beautiful works to be seen in the museum. Narrative -sometimes confused- scenes full of life show the brightness of their colours and the variety of their materials. The characters have expressive faces, their fine array and their brocaded clothes as well as their glittering cuirasses reveal the refinement of the time.

After a long period of decline, tapestry weaving was revived in Tournai in the XXth century. This new impetus has lead to the opening of this 'living' museum exclusively devoted to old and modern tapestries. As a matter of fact, the museum also illustrates the revival of the art of tapestry from the very first works of the group called 'Forces Murales' to the works produced in the last decade. The best artists are to be found there to show the evolution and the different tendencies of contemporary tapestry.