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Musée de France logo Comtois Museum Promoting dialogue between cultures and societies

The Musée comtois will be closed for renovation until March 31, 2024. Reopening on April 1, 2024.

Discover Franche-Comté society from a different angle thanks to the Musée Comtois collections. Between tradition and modernity, ancient and contemporary testimonies, more than 100,000 objects are preserved and invite a cross-reflection between past and present.

A museum of society

Both ancient and contemporary, the Musée Comtois' collections invite us to gain a better understanding of Franche-Comté society. Today, more than ever, this approach is relevant to the social and economic changes taking place in our world. The museum's exhibitions will give you a better understanding of how men and women have adapted to their territory, whether in the way they live, create or feed themselves.

My visit to the Musée comtois

No fewer than 17 rooms on three levels: the permanent exhibition features a wealth of objects, most of which date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Key themes include the making of Comté cheese, religious beliefs and how the Comtois adapted to the constraints of the land and climate.

On the top floor, an exceptional collection of puppets awaits you. It illustrates the local craze for this art form, with its strong satirical overtones. Rare and specific to the region, this collection demonstrates the wealth of creativity and freedom of expression so dear to the spirit of the Franche-Comté region.

During your visit, you'll notice the preponderance of photography, with more than 73,000 photographs preserved in the Musée comtois collections. Among them are several hundred glass plate negatives belonging to the d'Orival family - some members of this aristocratic family from Bisonne became passionate about photography as early as the 1880s. The Garneret / Folklore comtois collection, meanwhile, deals with facets of popular life with remarkable care and aesthetic quality: these photographs were taken by Abbé Garneret and other members of the Folklore comtois association between the 1930s and 1990.

The telephone booth at the Musée comtois

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The telephone booth at the Musée comtois

As a museum of society, the Musée Comtois has been collecting contemporary objects and testimonials for several years.
These illustrate the changes, ruptures and permanent features of our society, which are also part of the history of a territory and its inhabitants.

This telephone booth was acquired by the Museum in 2016, as part of the "Le Truc d'avant" exhibition, which asked visitors about disappearing objects.
A disappearance brought about by new social practices.
This object received strong public support for its preservation.

This phone booth is linked to our region in several ways.
The aluminum structure was manufactured not far from Dijon (Chevigny-Saint-Sauveur) by CLAIR et fils.
It was used in the region between 1980 and 2015.

In the 1990s, there were 300,000 telephone booths in France, both in towns and the countryside. They were indispensable for communicating whenever you left home. The advent of the cell phone led to a sharp decline in their numbers, with Orange dismantling the entire fleet between 2015 and 2017.
During this wave of disappearance, the Musée comtois acquired this model.

Following a storm in 2019, this telephone booth was damaged. During a visit to the Citadelle, Bernard CLAIR's daughter immediately noticed the object.
Together with her husband, they set about restoring it, meeting the Museum team and reviving the memory of this company and its know-how.


Musée comtois collection - Gift of the Orange company

Renovation: Savoir Fer metal workshop

Patronage: Mr. Hervé Obrecht, L'Atelier Mécanique SARL, Dannemarie-sur-Crête (Doubs, France)


Discover the collections

The Musée Comtois collections owe a great deal to one man: Abbé Jean Garneret. Inspired by the Scandinavian model, he embarked on field ethnology in order to safeguard a world that was disappearing under the impact of the century's great economic and social changes. From the 1930s onwards, he collected objects that were witnesses to Comtois life, on his own initiative and then at the request of the Direction des Musées de France and the Musée National des Arts et Traditions Populaires.

Created in 1946 and housed at the Citadelle since 1960, the Musée Comtois has enriched its collections thanks to numerous donations from private individuals. The Folklore Comtois association also plays a key role, donating a major collection of negatives to the City of Besançon in 2007.
Some of the collections have been digitized, and are now available online on the Mémoire vive website of the City of Besançon, and on the Portail des Arts de la Marionnette.

Discover our online collections.

Discover the collections
the world of Louis Fonta

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the world of Louis Fonta

A passionate autodidact, Louis Fonta (1920-2009) was a mechanic, a worker at the UMAS file factory and then a locksmith at the Saline Royale d'Arc-et-Senans. After retiring in 1983, he began mass-producing 300 to 400 models from recycled materials and boxwood. Somewhere between folk art, art brut, modest art and naive art, the artist's miniature worlds bear witness to everyday life and know-how in the Comtois region before the great changes of the Trente Glorieuses (1945-1975).
To protect and promote these models, the Musée comtois acquired 140 of them in 2003. Then, in 2020, the museum renewed contact with its children and grandchildren to acquire 63 additional models. Exchanges with donors and their families are invaluable in enriching the history of the collections. In this case, they have led to a better understanding of the breadth and depth of the astonishing work, both documentary and poetic, of this country worker-artist.