Museum Sandelin is renowned in the Nord-Pas de Calais region. Located in a sumptuous private mansion from the 18th Century, it has housed various rich collections for more than a century. Almost 3,000 works and artworks from the Middle-Ages until the 19th century are on display in the 21 beautiful rooms.
A former private mansion changed into a museum
The elegant private mansion, which is now the museum, was built at the end of the 18th century by Marie-Josephe Sandelin, the countess of Fruges.
Built according to a Parisian « between yard and garden » model, this house is one of the most beautiful and best preserved examples in the area of civil architecture from the end of the 18th century. The city of Saint Omer bought it at the end of the 19th century, and its doors opened as a museum on 10 April 1904.
Various and rich collections
The museum is organized on three levels. In the basement, the vestiges of the former Deville mansion, the Notre-Dame cathedral and the Saint-Bertin Abbey as well as an exceptional collection of weapons are the witnesses to the rich past of Saint Omer during medieval times. The city was at that time one of the main Flemish cities at the doorstep of the Artois area.
On the ground floor, the room dedicated to religious art is bathed with a filtered light and displayrs artworks from the wealth of Northern European arts during the 12th to the 16th centuries.
In the central part of the private mansion, paintings, sculptures, and furniture reflect the taste of art collectors from the 17th to the 19th century. These rooms are wonderful for art lovers and make visitors dive right into the 17th century. The reception rooms with their gorgeous wood panelling are throwbacks to the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Many masterpieces of European painting are found in these rooms.
Going up to the first floor by the grand staircase, visitors can admire large books and paintings from the 19th century. This floor also offers a selection of seven hundred and fifty items of pottery and European and Asian china from the 17th to 18th century, showing the exchanging influences between the East and the West. Further on, a room is dedicated to a collection of local clay pipes, a witness of the culture of tobacco and pipe industry in Saint-Omer.
A lively museum
Museum Sandelin offers you all year long a rich cultural program:
– Temporary exhibitions : the museum keeps more than 27,000 art works in its reserve collection, shown in turns for several months during temporary exhibitions. A large exhibition, organized with outside lendings, is proposed every year.
– Participation in European, national and regional meetings (the European Museum Night, national archeology days, …)
– Events (night events, murder mysteries, concerts)
– Free guided visits every Sunday (various formulas : joint visits, illustrated visits, highly detailed examinations of works, in the backstage of the museum…)
– Activities for families and kids (workshops, visits, booklets « museum birthday celebrations »…)