La Monnaie finds itself today in the privileged position of being able to store and keep a vast collection of stage costumes. These are the result of more than a century of creative work during which time our opera house has been fortunate to host artists of national and international renown. These costumes, which were created with inventiveness and brilliance, represent a labour executed with flair.
They appeared on stage as witness to the detailed knowledge and skill of our costume workshops at la Monnaie. These outstanding pieces have been worn by some of the greatest voices of the past and present and represent a rare testimony to the theatrical creations of la Monnaie. They are, therefore, a priceless record of our cultural heritage.
A project, consisting in the organisation of a new storage space in order for it to house 700-1000 items of costume, photographed by a professional photographer, detailed descriptions of the costumes by specialists and the encoding in a new database will start in February 2016.
Edmond Delescluze (1905-1993) was the (adopted) son of Jean Delescluze (1871-1947). Jean worked at La Monnaie as a set designer from 1905 until he died. Edmond joined his father at the set workshop in 1934 and led them from 1947 until 1959.
Suzanne Fabry (1904-1985) was the daughter of the painter Emile Fabry. The monumental art of the latter is still present at La Monnaie through eleven paintings that adorn the main staircase. In 1945, Suzanne Fabry married Edmond Delescluze. In the period 1948-1959, she worked as head of the costume department at La Monnaie.
In 2011, The King Baudouin Foundation purchased a collection of 922 set and costume designs for La Monnaie.
They complement the 290 already existing set and costume designs at La Monnaie.
At the end of the 1990s la Monnaie developed a multilingual database known as C.a.r.m.e.n. (http://carmen.lamonnaie.be) that, with the help of a multilingual thesaurus, would make the history of la Monnaie virtually accessible through the description of its productions, documents and objects.
Nowadays you can find more than 5,000 productions and works, 20,000 names of individuals, 16,000 archival documents and 35,000 digitised texts and images in this database.
In 2015 a project was started which will convert the present database to a portal that will generate a real community around the heritage of La Monnaie.
Bibliothèque nationale de France
An exhibition reporting the diversity of the collections of the department of Performing arts.
The Performing Arts Department is dedicated to preserving all types of documents produced before, during and after the performance: manuscripts of texts, correspondence, models, set elements, costumes and objects, photographs, audiovisual documents, posters, drawings and prints, programs and press clippings... as well as books and magazines.