The André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry is more commonly known as La Piscine from Roubaix. In fact, the museum is located in the old municipal pool in the city. It is a magical and confusing place, and I advise you not to miss it if you just take a walk in the North of France.
The André Diligent Museum of Art and Industry opened its doors in October 2001. It is located in the old Decorative Art pool built between 1927 and 1932 by architect Albert Baert, at the initiative of Mayor Jean-Baptiste Lebas. This pool was a meeting place and a place that disregarded social classes, according to the project of the architect and the mayor. Indeed, the pools are the only places where we are all the same.
It closed its doors in 1985 as a municipal swimming pool, for safety reasons.
The museum includes a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. The main room is dedicated to restoring the place and its history. Indeed, we are immersed in the glorious past of the old pool. The works are well located along the old swimming pool, and old showers are transformed into exhibition halls.
The main room of the museum covers mainly a large collection of sculptures and ceramics. It should be noted that this museum is aptly named “Art and Industry” because the Nord Pas de Calais is a very old industrial region, strongly influenced by the presence of the textile industry for many years. Therefore, the museum hosts within it, a large collection of tissues and fashion. This also reminds me of my first visit to this place for an exhibition of Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz De La Prada.
Once you have gone through this scene that offers this old Art Deco pool, you can continue your visit to the more picturesque space of the museum. You will find paintings from various periods. Note the presence of a painting by Tamara De Lempicka, an orientalist Part and many works from the Flanders Art.
Once finished with your visit, or if you fancy a break, you can head to the brewery museum. The brewery belongs to the brand Meert, a famous pastry from Lille. If time permits, you can dine on the terrace at the edge of the inner gardens of this fabulous place.
When you leave, do not forget to stick on the entrance doors of the museum the little sticker that was given to you at the entrance, it is a tradition. In fact, when you take your ticket, the museum team gives you a sticker that says you are on a day tour — you’re supposed to stick it to you, so you don’t need to ask which is your right entrance to each room’s museum.
In conclusion, the Museum of Art and Industry André Diligent, is an unusual place, not to be missed. Both steeped in history and some social utopia is a place where you will find inspiration, and you will be amazed by the beauty of this jewel from another time.
I’ll let you learn more about this place, its schedules and fares through in the official website from the museum