Arthur Batut Museum in Labruguière

Le village de Labruguière (Tarn) pris en 1896 d'un cerf volant par Arthur Batut (visible au musée). Source : site

This museum pays tribute to the work of one of the pioneers of aerial photography...

The Arthur Batut museum located in Labruguière in the Tarn département pays tribute to the work of one of the pioneers of aerial photography, the first photographer after Nadar to have taken pictures of his region. Aerial photography or kite aerophotography has existed for over a century. We owe the first aerial view to Félix Tournachon, known as Nadar (1820-1910). This first image was taken from a height of 520 metres from a hydrogen balloon in 1858. Born in 1846 Arthur Batut spent most of his life in Labruguière at his property called "En Laure". His taste for research gave him an interest in archaeological history. But it was photography that finally harnessed his energy. He undertook research into autochromes, stereoscopy and photography from kites. Arthur Batut built his own kite. It was a flat diamond-shape 2.50 metres by 1.75. The frame was wood, covered in paper and reinforced at the corners with tough cloth. This kite had a stabilising tail made of paper. It was equipped with a camera made from cardboard and cork. In the spring of 1888, in the Tarn département, it was this device that Arthur Batut (1846-1918) took the first aerial photo (in 8x8cm format) by kite.

This observation and intelligence went on to be used in the First World War as a valuable complement to the work of aviators. These days, although aerial photography by aeroplane or helicopter and remote sensing by satellite are commonplace, the technique using kites or balloons is still used in specific applications for taking low-altitude aerial images: the environment, architecture, archaeology, town planning, etc. The Arthur Batut Museum at Labruguière, between Castres and Mazamet, was founded by Serge Nègre in 1988 to display the works of this pioneer. Opened on the centenary of the invention of kite aerophotography, the museum displays the collections donated by the inventor's family for public exhibition. The collection includes photographic equipment, glass plates and original prints. Examples of kites are displayed in the main room. There are also further examples of Batut's ingenuity such as the tinder wick used as a shutter release.
Batut's correspondence with his peers and detractors completes the portrait of the inventor. New life is brought to the museum with an exhibition gallery that regularly displays the work of contemporary creators of historic images or reports.
Musée Arthur Batut(Arthur Batut Museum) Kite photography 9 ter, rue Gambetta 81290 Labruguière Tel: +33 (0)5 63 50 22 18/05 63 70 34 01 Open 3-6pm, closed on Tuesday Local Tourist Office(Office municipal du tourisme) Place de l'Hôtel de Ville 81290 Labruguière Tel/fax: +33 (0) E-mail:

  • Cerf-volant ayant servi à prendre les premiers clichés aérophotographiques. Source :

  • Portrait de Batut. Source :

  • Appareil photographique utilisé par Batut. Source :

  • Le village de Labruguière (Tarn) pris en 1896 d'un cerf volant par Arthur Batut. Source :

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    Practical information


    9 ter rue Gambetta 81290
    Tel: 05 63 50 22 18/05 63 70 34 01 Office municipal du tourismePlace de l'Hôtel de Ville81290 LabruguièreTel/fax : E-mail :


    Entrée 3 € Visites guidées 5 €

    Weekly opening hours

    Ouvert tous les jours sur rendez-vous - sauf le mardi. De 15 heures à 17h