The Temporary exhibitions
Designed to attract a broader range of visitors and not just those interested in wine, La Cité du Vin has committed to a schedule of two temporary exhibitions per year: one artistic and the other focusing on an individual wine region. No mean undertaking, when you consider the lead time of 2 years minimum for each and the various organizations and experts involved in the planning.
Bistrot! From Baudelaire to Picasso
(17 March until 21 June) features over 100 works, including photographs and paintings from artists, some such as Mark Rothko who have never before been exhibited in Bordeaux. Divided into 4 sections, the exhibition has as an overriding theme the role played by cafés, bistrots and other convivial spaces, in artistic creations and society in general, from the 18th-century to the modern day. In addition to paintings by Toulouse-lautrec and Vuillard, as examples of how artists of their time used painting as a way of capturing the atmosphere in a café, later works by Rothko and Dix focus on the solitary female in a bar, coinciding with the emancipation at that time. Well-known photos by Doisneau and Cartier-bresson are put to great use portraying both the rich and poor enjoying alcohol (Champagne for the former, red wine for the latter) and the resultant attractions.
Recordings of passages from Baudelaire’s poetry, specifically ‘The Soul of Wine‘ can be listed to at various stages throughout the visit as well as songs from the last century about bistrots and bars. Extracts from films depicting the importance of Parisienne cafés, Irish pubs and American diners in cinema are shown in a dedicated space at the centre of the exhibition. Daily guided tours are available and other events with art historians are scheduled plus the evening tour which culminates with an aperitif in the classic Bordelais Café des Arts.
Georgia: The Birthplace of Wine
(31 July – 5 November) is a fitting start to the museum’s focus on specific viticultural regions, given its long history with making and consuming wine. Organized in conjunction with the National Museum of Georgia and the Georgian wine Association, the exhibition features over 100 works of archeology and ethnology, proving a wine culture that dates back over 5,000 years. Knives for vine pruning, vessels for storing wine and jewellery depicting grapes all form part of the display, many of which were originally unearthed in parts of the country which still make wine today.
Georgians are rightfully proud of their winemaking history and legends and folklore which make reference to these activities can be viewed during the exhibition. The importance of Christianity which was adapted in the 4th-centuryis also in evidence, notably in the form of early crosses which were made using vines. Following a golden age for viticulturists in the middle ages, the industry suffered greatly with the arrival of Phylloxera which devastated both wild and cultivated vines. Trade today relies heavily on the relationship with Russia which remains a strong market for the wines, but quality producers are looking more to other European markets. The future of Georgian wine will form part of the discussion of cultural events organized around the exhibition and a number of wine tasting workshops with producers from the regions of Kakheti and Racha-lechkhumi are also scheduled.
‘Recordings of passages from Baudelaire’s poetry, specifically ‘The Soul of Wine‘ can be listed to at various stages throughout the visit as well as songs from the last century about bistrots and bars.‘
‘Georgians are rightfully proud of their winemaking history and legends and folklore which make reference to these activities can be viewed during the exhibition.‘
‘Le Vin‘, a canvas from Léon Lhermite.
Kakheti, Telavi, Rtveli 2011– Traditional wine harvesting in Georgia.