A Centre for Exhibitions and Activities
The Musée du Plâtre is housed in the municipal Musées Réunis building. The history and resources of Cormeilles form the backbone of the museum's activities, with special focus on subsurface resources—gypsum—and building materials, industrial applications, and the arts.
(Illustrated: part of the collection of original plaster works by the surrealist sculptor Georges Boulogne.)
Because of the coronavirus restrictions, special conditions apply:
- Capacity is limited to 20 visitors at any time.
- Groups must reserve in advance.
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Recent publications: Les Ports du Plâtre. Le commerce du plâtre sur la Seine et l'Oise au XIXe siècle
2019 Musée du Plâtre Membership
(Download membership form)
Project on school trips and other visits to the Cormeilles quarry, where students could study the 100-metre high section of the Paris basin.
Spectacle : Le Diorama de Cormeilles
To celebrate the 230th anniversary of the birth of Louis Daguerre (painter, inventor of the daguerreotype, and co-inventor of photography) in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, the Musées Réunis commissioned a modern diorama by the noted painter Stéphane Belzère-Kreienbühl, for a spectacle to the theme of Debussy's "Clair de lune", the third movement of the Suite bergamasque. A unique experience for visitors to the Museum.
(Download press release)
Plaster and Gypsum News and Information
(List of publications)
(Numerous calls for papers, publications, conference proceedings, plaster industry commitment to recycling, etc.)
The Future of the Cormeilles Quarry
Following the public inquiry into the operation of the gypsum quarry by Placoplatre (a company in the Saint-Gobain Group) between 2 May and 2 June 2016, the Commission's report (in French) is available at:
The project involves:
- termination of open-cast gypsum mining,
- commencement of underground operations under the woods on the Cormeilles hill (the "butte"), with extraction from only the first (upper) seam of gypsum, and backfilling,
- continuing ecological restoration of the quarry, which began 25 years ago, with backfilling and ecological rehabilitation; ownership is transferred to the AEV (Green Spaces Agency of the Île-de-France Region), and the space will gradually be opened to the public.
The gypsum extracted from the quarries downstream from Paris, after transformation into plaster, was shipped to Normandy, Picardy, Belgium, England and even the United States. This trade was organized around river ports throughout northwestern France -- including the La Frette port just two miles from the Cormeilles quarry -- as well as the ports of Rouen and Le Havre.
Historian Jacques Hantraye traces the development of the trade throughout the 19th century. (In French)
Author: Jacques Hantraye. 212 pages, 225 illustrations. Price: 25 euros.
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Download book flyer and order form
Exhibition: Les Arches de Silène dites coquillages radio
Exhibition flyer for Les Arches de Silène
Exhibition: Les visiteurs de la carrière. 100 ans sur le terrain à Cormeilles-en-Parisis
Visitors to the Cormeilles quarry. 100 years in the field.
For over a century, school children, advanced students, geologists, scientists, building trade professionals, manufacturers and the general public have visited the quarry at Cormeilles-en-Parisis. The quarry's exceptional 100-meter vertical cross-section of the Paris Basin has played a key role in promoting an understanding of geology, particularly in school textbooks, which feature Cormeilles prominently.
La Lettre Blanche 56, Download
Publication : L'effort de guerre des usines Lambert en 1914-1918
This article examines the war effort by Lambert manufacturing plants in World War I
Les Articles du Musée du Plâtre no. 16, April 2020, 16 p. -
Publication : Placoplatre et autres histoires industrielles
Plâtres Lambert, Poliet & Chausson, SAMC, Plâtrières de Grozon, Isobox-Henry (note: titre à garder en français, en italique)
The firm Placoplatre was established in 1946 with the introduction of plasterboard (drywall) to France, but its origins go back even further, with multiple sources that combine to form a unique adventure. Placoplatre is perpetuating the spirit of the pioneers of gypsum plaster, who developed into seasoned, inventive industrial companies during the 20th century. Placoplatre has combined the legacies of multiple companies and generations of men in the organization we recognize today. (in French)
by Vincent Farion. Editions Anabole. 194 pages. 350 illustrations. Price €29.90.
Tell us about when you visited the quarry in Cormeilles
Generations of scientists, geologists, engineers, building professionals, teachers, students, and school children have visited the Cormeilles quarry and its exceptional geological cross-section. The Musée du Plâtre is seeking testimonials and documents, photographs, films, notes, publications, and so on concerning these visits.
Spectacle : Le Diorama de Cormeilles
To celebrate the 230th anniversary of the birth of Louis Daguerre (painter, inventor of the daguerreotype, and co-inventor of photography) in Cormeilles-en-Parisis, the Musées Réunis commissioned a modern diorama by the noted painter Stéphane Belzère-Kreienbühl. Today, as in the past, the spectator will be captivated by the Cormeilles Diorama, with the experience of a motionless journey through a 19th century village scene. A forerunner of virtual and augmented reality, the diorama creates an illusion of changing times over the course of a day. Come view this in person or in a video clip.
"Petit guide pour reconnaître et restaurer une façade en plâtre"
(Short guide on how to recognize and restore a gypsum plaster facade)
Produced by LRMH (Laboratoire de Recherche des Monuments Historiques) / French Ministry of Culture
This booklet reviews the history of gypsum plaster in the greater Paris area, how to recognize these facades, typical disorders, and how to restore them. (The cover shows the historical schoolhouse that was the first home of the museum in Cormeilles.)
Publication : Les plâtrières du Val-d'Oise à travers les siècles
(Gypsum mines and quarries in the Val d'Oise department)
Daniel Baduel. 480 pages. Abundantly illustrated in color. Price 35 euros
Enquête publique complémentaire Carrière de Cormeilles 2020
(Supplementary environmental impact study into Cormeilles gypsum mining in 2020)
Rapport d'enquête - Conclusions motivées de la commission d'enquête (novembre 2020) = avis favorable
(Our most recent publications)
(Proceedings of a GRPA conference on Plaster and Colour, second part: Painted plaster)
The museum's plaster of Paris workshop provides a learning experience for children from 4 to 12, under expert adult supervision.
Plaster is the ideal material for children to discover working in three dimensions, and the pleasure of modeling or sculpting natural materials. Children learn various techniques, including casting, working with negative molds made of plaster of clay, and hand-painting plaster figurines.
The workshop benefits from support from two partners: the Placoplatre production plant in Cormeilles which supplies Molda® plaster, and Saint-Gobain Formula, which supplies the T-shirts that children use as aprons. The workshop is open during school holidays, and can also be "privatized" for birthday parties or other celebrations.
Saturday, 2:15 to 4:15 pm
(Download information and reservation form)
Operated by Placoplatre® (a Saint-Gobain Group company), the quarry in Cormeilles-en-Parisis produces 350,000 tonnes of gypsum each year.
Extraction is currently shifting from open-cast to underground mining. Ecological restoration work on the site began in the 1980s, with backfilling and revegetation. This will result in a large "green space" of over 100 hectares (roughly 250 acres) in the heart of the Greater Paris region. 45 hectares were opened to the public in 2017.
Open-cast mining has been discontinued; all gypsum mining is currently conducted underground.
The museum has published the Lettre Blanche newsletter since January 1996, when it replaced the earlier Fer de Lance (French for "spearhead crystal") published from 1985 to 1995. The newsletter focuses on all aspects of gypsum and plaster, including art, history, heritage sites, traditions, science, the environment, economics, and skills. Since September 2009, the print run has been increased to 12,000 copies, on the strength of our partnership with the Placoplatre Foundation. Readers include not only gypsum and plaster specialists (professionals, artists, scientists, and historians), but also residents of Cormeilles-en-Parisis and areas near the quarry.
(Issues of La Lettre Blanche available for downloading.)
(Aerial view of the quarry, before underground mining.)
Special issue: Visitors to the quarry
Teaching in the field - Cormeilles, reference site - Visiting the Cormeilles quarry - Other visitors - Entertainment: the quarry on the screen