Dom Robert (1907-1997) was an atypical artist. A Benedictine monk living in the Abbaye d’En Calcat in Dourgne, a village next to Sorèze, he is celebrated for having helped revive the Aubusson Tapestry Manufacture, which, during its 17th- and 18th-century heyday competed with the royal manufacture of Gobelins tapestry. More recently, in 2009, Aubusson tapestries were added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Dom Robert was introduced to tapestry by the noted contemporary tapestry artist Jean Lurçat, who was struck by the originality and power of Dom Robert's watercolors and illumination. Dom Robert's wonderfully modern, richly diverse and colorful work featuring motifs inspired by nature has at last found a setting worthy of its splendor: the Dom Robert Museum (www.abbayeecoledesoreze.com), located in the Sorèze Abbey School, a Great Tourist Site in Midi-Pyrénées. This new museum occupies 16,000 square feet of space adapted to its new purpose by an Italian architectural firm (N'Studio) in a style that is both contemporary and respectful of the abbey, which was founded in 754. Museum exhibits explain the process of creating a tapestry and feature, among other things, the work and expertise of the master weavers of Aubusson.
Dom Robert Museum Celebrates Revival of Aubusson Tapestry
Benjamin Le Hay