From the beginning of the Vieille Montagne industrial adventure, its leaders developed a great sense of communication.
From the middle of the 19th century, they asked several artists, painters to immortalize the different production sites of the company already numerous at the time or photographers to highlight its staff and explain the different professions active in the company This is how they called on the already renowned Norman watercolorist Adolphe Maugendre.
He is known for the precision and quality of the details of his landscapes, monuments and works of art (he created, among other things, views of the new stations for the Compagnie des Chemins de fer de l’Est de la France) and was commissioned by Alexandre St Paul de Sinçay to produce watercolors painted on site throughout Europe, of the Vieille Montagne factories, which were then reproduced in lithographs and disseminated throughout the company A first album of his lithographs was published in 1851, another followed in 1855.
These documents and the original watercolors were kept at the headquarters of the Société Anonyme des Mines et Fonderies de Zinc de la Vieille Montagne in Angleur until 1989. When the company moved to Brussels following the acquisition by the Union Minière Group, they were officially donated to the CHST of the University of Liège for most of them, as well as to the Maison de la Métallurgie et de l’Industrie de Liège (MMIL) In 2020, with the support of our association, which strongly supported their restoration, these precious watercolors and the collection of lithographs were transferred from the CHST to the artistic collections of the library of the University of Liège To date, all watercolors and lithographs have been inventoried, the 2 Maugendre albums have been described and digitized. The digitization of the original watercolors is underway As part of a specific partnership with the Librairie de l’Université de Liège, members of the VMH association have the opportunity to access these high-quality images.
As such, a commemorative album based on a selection of ancient lithographs of Belgian sites (notably that of Moresnet-Neutre) has just been published by our association VMH. In 2023, it will be presented to the Museum Vieille Montagne for inclusion in its permanent exhibition.