The wonderful thing about the Provence and the Côte d’Azur is the wealth of artistic talent, historical and present day. This reference guide lists museums and art venues by department within the region. We have attempted to be as comprehensive as possible but may have missed a few and will continually update this list.

Some of the famous artists who painted in the sunny South include Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Paul Gaughin, Auguste Renoir, and Nicolas de Stael. In a letter to his brother Theo, Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, wrote of his surprise by the bright colour palate and scenery in southern France. In just over a decade, he created about 2,100 artworks, including around 860 oil paintings, many of them in the last two years of his life.


Alpes de Haute Provence:

Digne-les-Bains: Refuge d’Art

Works by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, known for creating outdoor installations from natural materials found nearby, form part of a 150km “art” hiking route stretching north of our region. Named the Refuge d’Art, in the Unesco Geopark reserve in collaboration with the Gassendi Museum in Digne-les-Bains and the Réserve Géologique de Haute-Provence, it is the largest public collection of his work.

Musée Gassendi (website)
64 Boulevard Gassendi
Digne-les-Bains
Closed on Tuesdays.

Refuge d’Art (website)

Goldworthy's Refuge d'Art Hiking Trail Provence

©Refuge d’Art website


Alpes Maritimes Museums:

Antibes: Musée Picasso

For art lovers, Antibes is the place to trace the footsteps of Pablo Picasso and his flamboyant lifestyle along the French Riviera. The Musée Picasso, France’s first museum dedicated to the artist, stands tall inside the 16th-century ramparts of the restored Château Grimaldi. The site once belonged to the powerful Grimaldi family of Monaco.

Discovering Antibes France Picasso Museum

©Perfectly Provence

Picasso arrived in Antibes in 1946 as a young and inspiring artist for a six-month stay. He lived and worked inside the chateau, painting and sculpting. It was here that he created his notable Joie de Vivre in 1946. Picasso went on to bequeath all of the art he created to the Château on the condition that it remain on display to the public. There’s no better place for those who love art than the French Riviera to discover Picasso, his art, his affairs, and his wide circle of friends.

Musée Picasso (website)
Place Mariejol,
06600 Antibes
Closed on Mondays

Cagnes-sur-Mer: Musée Renoir

From 1907 until his death, Auguste Renoir lived on a farm on Les Collettes, a hill found in Cagnes-sur-Mer. The property afforded the painter views of the countryside with orange trees and centuries-old groves of olive. Such a picturesque farmhouse was the subject of most of Renoir’s landscape paintings. In particular, the painting ‘The Farm at Les Collettes,’ captures Renoir’s fluid manner and the vibrant light of southern France.
Cagnes-sur-Mer, Musée Renoir

Musée Renoir (website)
Chemain des Collettes
06800 Cagnes-sur-Mer
The opening hours/days change seasonally; please check the website beforehand.

Cannes: Musée Bonnard

The Musée Bonnard over in Le Cannet (just north of Cannes) is the only museum dedicated to Pierre Bonnard. Visiting his paintings lets you see the world through his eyes, a celebration of joyful colour from the yellow mimosa in his beloved garden down to the sparkling blue of the Mediterranean below the town.

Seeking the south of France’s warm climate for his ailing wife, Pierre Bonnard bought a property in Le Cannet. He named the Villa le Bosquet, and it became his main home and studio during the last years of his life. He started exploring light and colour and painted ‘Landscape at le Cannet.’ Which combines warm light and a rainbow-like array of colours and achieves oneness with nature, paint, colour, and light.

Musée Bonnard (website)
16 boulevard Sadi Carnot
06110 Le Cannet
Closed on Mondays.

Nice: Musée Masséna

Located along Nice’s Promenade des Anglais, the Villa Masséna is a French historical monument from the 19th century. Danish architect Hans-Georg Tersling designed the grand Belle Époque building that was constructed between 1898 and 1901. The son of Victor Masséna sold the villa to the City of Nice in 1919 for a price that equalled the inheritance tax due. However, he had two stipulations: the Villa Masséna should become the Musée Masséna (opened in 1921), and the gardens remain open to the public.

Restored building by the city between 1999 and 2008, the Musée Masséna is a beautiful example of Italian neo-classical design. Take a guided tour through the museum’s collection of art, furnishings, and jewellery from the Belle Époque.

Musée Masséna (website)
65 rue de France
35 Promenade des Anglais
06000 Nice
Open daily 10h – 18h (closed on Tuesdays)

Nice: Palais Lascaris

Right in the heart of Vieux Nice is the Musée du Palais Lascaris, the one-time residence of the Lascaris Vintimille family. The Baroque-style mansion constructed in 1648 remained the family’s home until the French Revolution. Acquired by the French state in 1946, Palais Lascaris is now a Musée de France and a registered historical monument. From the outside, the façade of the Palais Lascaris looks like the neighbouring buildings. However, you find a rare collection of over 500 musical instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries, the most extensive collection outside the Musée de la Musique in Paris.

10 Museums in Nice, France

Palais Lascaris ©CRT Côte d’Azur, France, Anais Brochiero

Palais Lascaris (website)
15 rue Droite (Vieux Nice)
06300 Nice
Open daily 10h – 18h (closed on Tuesdays)

Nice: Museum d’Histoire Naturelle de Nice (MHNN)

It’s perhaps fitting that the oldest museum in Nice, established in 1846, is the one that houses a collection of over a million specimens of natural history. The facility is also known as the Musée Barla, named after one of the scientific visionaries of the time – Jean-Baptiste Barla (1817-1896). This museum showcases the Côte d’Azur’s overall biodiversity with samples of flora and fauna from the area. Walking through the displays, you will gain an appreciation for the diverse and fragile environment.

Museum d’Histoire Naturelle de Nice (website)
60 Boulevard Risso
06300 Nice
Open daily 13h30 – 18h (closed on Mondays)

Nice: Musée National Marc Chagall

At the foot of Cimiez Hill is the Musée National Marc Chagall, opening its doors to honor this great Franco-Russian artist’s talents and philanthropic generosity. It is an extraordinary art museum that was the benefactor of an extensive collection of Chagall’s works, including seventeen masterpieces entitled, The Biblical Message. In 1966, Marc Chagall originally donated the Biblical Message series to the French State, first exhibited at the Louvre in Paris, eventually making its permanent home in the chic neighbourhood on Cimiez Hill in Nice.

Nice, Musée Chagall

Musée Chagall ©CRT Côte d’Azur, France

Before he died in 1985, Marc Chagall was instrumental in creating a public location in Nice for the paintings that form The Biblical Message. Built explicitly for these pieces, Musée National Marc Chagall (Marc Chagall National Museum) has the most significant public assembly of the artist’s work. The Old Testament heavily influenced the permanent collection’s theme, from large-scale works to drawings. In addition, Chagall was involved in the museum’s space planning and completed stained glass windows in the auditorium.

Nice, Musée Chagall

Musée Chagall ©CRT Côte d’Azur, France

Musée National Marc Chagall (website)
36 avenue Docteur Ménard (angle bd de Cimiez)
06000 Nice
Open daily 10h – 18h from May through October and until 17h the rest of the year.
Closed on Tuesdays

Nice: Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC)

Located in the centre of Nice near Place Garibaldi, MAMAC is a must for contemporary art lovers. The building is home to a diverse collection of more than 1,400 pieces by 350 artists. Works by Yves Klein and Niki de Saint Phalle form part of the permanent collection, with rooms dedicated to these two artists. MAMAC has a dynamic exhibition schedule with new shows and over 100 events annually.

10 Museums in Nice, France MAMAC

MAMAC ©CRT Côte d’Azur, France, Anais Brochiero

Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain M.A.M.A.C. (website)
Place Yves Klein
06364 Nice cedex 4
Open daily 10h – 18h (closed on Mondays)

10 Museums in Nice, France MAMAC

MAMAC ©CRT Côte d’Azur, France, Anais Brochiero

Nice: Musée Matisse

Celebrated for his unique style of colour and line, Henri Matisse spent his later years on the French Riviera. After an intestinal operation, he recuperated in Nice at the Old Hotel Regina in Cimiez. The artist’s love for the City of Nice influenced the vision of the Matisse Museum. Nice was where he produced a large volume of his work. Matisse also donated some of his pieces to the Ville de Nice. In 1950 the City of Nice acquired the Villa Garin de Cocconato, a Genoese-style designed mansion dating from 1695. However, it was not until January 1963 that Musée Matisse opened its doors to the public.

Musée Matisse Nice, France

Musée Matisse ©CRT Côte d’Azur, France, Anais Brochiero

Musée Matisse (website)
164 avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
06000 Nice
Open daily 10h – 18h (closed on Tuesdays)

Nice: Musée d’Archéologie Nice-Cimiez

This museum, located on the Cimiez hillside, is a must for history lovers, and there is much to see on the two (2) hectare property. Walk through the remains of this ancient settlement and discover the city of Cemenelum, complete with thermal baths (dating from the 1st to 3rd centuries). You will appreciate the pre-Roman era, daily life in Cemenelum and maritime trade.

Musée d’Archéologie Nice-Cimiez (website)
160, avenue des Arènes de Cimiez
06000 Nice
Open daily 10h – 18h (closed on Tuesdays)

Nice: Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre

Dedicated to photography, this museum in the heart of Vieux Nice blends in with the colourful facades and retail streetscape. However, the modern interior space is ideal for displaying rotating photo exhibitions.

Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre (website)
1, Place Pierre Gautier
06300 Nice
Open daily 10h – 18h (closed on Mondays)

Nice: Musée International d’Art Naïf Anatole Jakovsky

Château Sainte Hélène, once the home of perfume creator François Coty became the Museum of Naïve Art in Nice after generous donations by Anatole and Renée Jakovsky. Book a guided tour for an overview of the collection of works by various French and international artists.

Musée International d’Art Naïf Anatole Jakovsky (website)
23 avenue de Fabron
Château Sainte-Hélène
06200 Nice

Nice: Musée des Beaux Arts de Nice

Once the mansion of a Russian-Ukrainian Princess, the exterior of this Belle Époque building is elegant, as is the interior with its high ceilings that are perfect for display space. The museum first opened in 1928 as the Palais des Arts Jules Chéret and featured much of his work. Today, you can explore paintings and sculptures from the 14th to the 20th centuries.

Musée des Beaux Arts de Nice (website)
33, avenue des Baumettes
06000 Nice
Open daily 10h – 18h (closed on Mondays)

Mougins: Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins

Mougins is a picture-perfect centuries-old hilltop village. Constructed like a spiral with ancient passageways lined with stone houses, it is now a magnet for craftspeople, artists and high-class restaurateurs. But another reason for visiting the village is the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins. Lynne of Axicentric thinks this is one of the best museums in the South of France that you should not miss. The gallery collection of 700 works includes pieces from antiquity and more recent artists, Chagall, Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso.

Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins (website)
32 Rue Commandeur
06250 Vieux Village de Mougins
Tel:+33 (0)4 93 75 18 22

Pablo Picasso first discovered Mougins with his muse, Dora Maar, in 1935. Tempted by the proximity of the French Riviera and surrounded by unspoilt countryside, Picasso returned to Mougins in 1961. He established his atelier in the building that is now the tourist office. He purchased the 35-room villa Notre Dame de Vie, and it was there where he died in 1973 at the age of 91. The villa is privately owned.

Saint Paul de Vence: Fondation Maeght

Saint-Paul-de-Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns in Provence, is home to The Maeght Foundation. This private institution opened in 1964 and is now home to one of Europe’s largest collections of modern art. Envisioned as a place for experimentation and sharing ideas, the Foundation was created for and with artists.

Fondation Maeght

Fondation Maeght @Roland Michaud


Bouches du Rhône

The Rhône and Durance rivers are like bookends creating fluid boundaries of the Bouches du Rhône (mouth of the Rhône) while providing irrigation for the department’s agricultural land. After an 800 km journey from its source, the Rhône Glacier in Valais, Switzerland, the Rhône River yawns lazily into the Mediterranean Sea. For many visitors, the Bouches du Rhône is their arrival point in Provence, whether they arrive by plane into the Aéroport Marseille Provence in Marignane or by train to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence or Marseille. Discover the Bouches du Rhône Romans to Modern Day.

Aix-en-Provence:

Hôtel de Caumont was reincarnated as a public art centre in the Culturespaces portfolio. The doors to the Caumont Centre d’Art opened after 26.6 million Euros (10 million for land acquisition and 12.6 million for construction) and an 18-month restoration project. The attention to detail and historical relevance are unmistakable in each of the rooms refurbished under the direction of Mireille Pellen (Achitecte du Patrimonie). Whether you go to see the latest exhibition or not, Hôtel de Caumont is like stepping back in time, and it is a lovely place for lunch or a drink.

Hôtel de Caumont
3 Rue Joseph Cabassol,
13100 Aix-en-Provence
Open daily

French Real Estate Terms Gardens

Ideas for a Day in Aix

Musée Granet

Musée Granet, a fine arts and archaeological museum, is in the building previously used by the Priors of St. John of Malta. The museum is home to only a few paintings by Cézanne, drawings, and engravings, including The Bathers (1865) and The Portrait of Zola (1863). The museum, adjacent to the Church of Saint-Jean-de-Malte, first opened in 1838 in buildings previously belonging to the priory of Saint-Jean-de-Malte. It still shares a common garden with the church.

In addition to its Cézannes, the Musée Granet also exhibits 600 paintings, sculptures, and archaeological artifacts, including paintings from the 17th-century French school, as well as paintings by Giacometti, Picasso, Léger, Klee, de Staël, and collections from the French, Italian and Dutch painters like Rubens and Rembrandt.

Musée Granet
Place Saint Jean de Malte
13100 Aix-en-Provence
Closed on Mondays

Hôtel de Gallifet

Hôtel de Gallifet is located near the café-lined Cours Mirabeau, one of the most popular places. The restaurant is open June 1- October 1, 12-6 pm Tuesday – Sunday, and until 11 pm Thursday – Saturday evenings. The hours change from November 1 to May 31 to Wednesday through Saturday, 12-6 pm.

Hôtel de Gallifet
52 Rue de Cardinale
13100 Aix-en-Provence
Telephone: +33 (0)9 53 84 37 61

During the summer, dining is in the garden courtyard. Reservations are highly recommended.

The Hôtel de Gallifet is in the heart of the Mazarin quarter, just a few steps from the picturesque Fontaine des Quatre Dauphins. Dating from the 19th century, Hôtel de Gallifet was previously a private mansion. Today it is a contemporary art centre with six (6) exhibition rooms.

Fondation Vasarely

Fondation Vasarely, a contemporary glass structure with black and white cubes, is visible from the Autoroute A8. The building sits on a rise on the outer edge of Aix-en-Provence. Designed by the artist himself, the gallery space was inaugurated in 1976. Sadly, capital building improvements such as temperature controls and roof repairs were delayed many years due to a lack of funds. In recent years the Fondation Vasarely had an infusion of funds for much-needed building infrastructure. There are 42 monumental works of Victor Vasarely on display and some smaller installations. The Fondation is well worth a visit.

Fondation Vasarely (website)
Jas de Bouffan
13096 Aix-en-Provence
Telephone: +33 (0)4 42 20 01 09
Open daily 10h-18h

Parking is available onsite
Audio guides are available for a small charge
Guided tours can be arranged in advance

Fondation Vasarely Aix-en-Provence

Arles:

La Fondation Lee Ufan: In April 2023, the Lee Ufan Foundation opened in Hôtel Vernon. Contemporary Japanese architect Tadao Ando restored the elegant house dating from the 16th and 18th centuries to suit the Lee Ufan collection. The exhibition space of 1350m2 (roughly 14,500 sqft) spreads over three floors, starting with a concrete spiral called “Relatum, ciel sous terre.” On the second level are some of his drawings from as early as 1964 and paintings from the 1970s to the present day.

Fondation Lee Ufan
5 rue Vernon,
13200 Arles
Telephone +33 (0)9 78 07 83 26
Opening hours:
July 1 to September 30, open daily from 10 am to 7 pm
October 1 to January 7, then February 6 to June 30. The centre is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.

Fondation Vincent Van Gogh is a small museum that supports the famous artist’s impact on the region. Imagine arriving in Provence for the first time on February 20, 1888, after two years of struggling to make a living in Paris. For Vincent van Gogh, who grew up in Holland with its muted colour palette and luminosity, Provence’s radiant light was a stark contrast. Some might say this profound change spurred his creative abilities to obsessive reaches. During his two years in the South of France, van Gogh produced over 200 paintings and many drawings. The Fondation does not have a permanent collection of the artist’s work but exhibits pieces from other museums, including the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Temporary shows have featured artists such as David Hockney, Alice Neel, Pablo Picasso and others.

Fondation Vincent Van Gogh
35 ter, rue du Docteur-Fanton
13200 Arles
Book your tickets online.
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm
Last admission at 5:15 pm
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 93 08 08

Arles fondation Van Gogh

LUMA Arles and the Parc des Ateliers:  The contemporary architecture of LUMA Arles starkly contrasts traditional architecture in the Camargue area. However, this gem should be on the list of anyone interested in art and creativity. Commissioned by the LUMA Foundation, LUMA Arles showcases the human right to a healthy environment through the work of art, architecture, and artists. LUMA Arles and the Parc des Ateliers was a derelict railway factory. The designers salvaged the neglected buildings and repurposed them into workshops, exhibition spaces, an auditorium, and a library. The wonderfully landscaped Parc des Ateliers connects the buildings.

LUMA Arles Art Centre ADRIANDEWEERDT

Parc des Ateliers, LUMA, Arles, France. ©Adrian Deweerdt, 2021

Arles was once an important Roman town, a trading center with a significant port. Barges with cargo from over the Empire plied the waters of the Rhone River. Around 2,000 years ago, one of those barges sank. This fantastic boat and many other artifacts are housed at the Musée départemental Arles antique.

Musée départemental Arles antique
presqu’île du cirque romain
BP 205
13 635 Arles cedex.
Telephone: +33 (0)4 13 31 51 03
Closed on Tuesdays
Free entry the 1st Sunday of each month

Roman Barge Arles Museum Antiquity

©Rémi Bénali – Musée départemental Arles antique

Ideas for a Day in Arles

Muséon Arlaten, after an 11-year renovation, this venue reopened in 2021 with the input of a leading architectural agency and the fabulous Arlesien designer Christian Lacroix. The museum certainly has style – see the staircase above. Founded by the poet Frédéric Mistral in 1896, it exhibits costumes, furniture, work tools, and objects of worship, illustrating Provençal life in the 19th century.

Muséon Arlaten
29 – 31 rue de la République
13200 Arles

Take a tour: In June, July and August, there are guided tours in English on Saturdays at 15h of Muséon Arlaten.

Museon Arlaten Arles

©Rémi-Benali Cd13 Coll. Museon Arlaten musée de Provence

Avignon:

In 2018, the city launched a program – Avignon Musées – combining the marketing efforts for its museums and galleries. These five (5) museums offer free entry: Calvet, Lapidaire, Requien, Palais du Roure and the Petit Palais. Each one displays a separate portion of the city’s 1-million-piece archive. The concept is to showcase the incredible artistic heritage of the city (and region) and collection of artifacts via shared programming across five (5) museums.

For a relatively small geography, the Avignon collection is immense. There are 1,200,000 works of art, objects of interest and archival documents. These pieces include prehistoric artifacts,  Greco-Roman sculptures, Italian Renaissance art, works from the Impressionist period and modern works.

Located in the heart of Avignon, the museums Calvet, Lapidaire, Petit Palais, Requien, and Palais du Roure collectively form “Avignon Museums,”  opening their culture-filled doors to all ages.

Musée Calvet
65, rue Joseph Vernet
84000 Avignon
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 86 33 84
Closed Tuesdays

Musée Lapidaire
27, rue de la République
84000 Avignon
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 85 75 38
Closed Mondays

Petit Palais
Palais des Archevêques
Place du Palais des Papes
84000 Avignon
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 86 44 58
Closed Tuesdays

Musée Requien
67, rue Joseph Vernet
84000 Avignon
Telephone: +33 (0)4 90 82 43 51
Closed Sundays & Mondays

Palais du Roure
3, rue Collège du Roure
84000 Avignon
Telephone: +33 (0)4 13 60 50 01
Closed Sundays, Mondays and Holidays

Ideas for a Day in Avignon

Charleval:

Successive owners and a decade vacuum left Château Charleval and the seven (7) hectare property in severe decay. Daniel Rocher, the son of cosmetics company founder Yves Rocher, is an artist, creator of Daniel Jouvance, father, and art collector. His search for the “right” property where he could establish an art venue had been long and unsuccessful. Until May 2019, he stumbled across the decrepit Château in an unremarkable village. Where the rest of us might have seen an impossible task, Mr. Rocher envisioned the location for art exhibitions (temporary and permanent), a place for his collection, and an expansive outdoor space as the setting for striking sculptures. Château Charleval Provence Art Gallery opened to the public in December 2021 with diverse works by 30 artists.

Château Charleval
13350 Charleval

The Château is private.
However, visiting days are Tuesday through Saturday, 14h to 18h. Please call +33 (0)6 67 89 99 01 to make an appointment.
All the artwork and sculptures are for sale, except those that form part of Daniel Rocher’s private collection.

Les Baux de Provence:

Fortifications have long existed in the Alpilles because the cliffs and rocky outcroppings made for perfect defensive positions. Plus, the high places make it easy to spot signs of danger. Unfortunately, these fortifications were built of wood or earth for much of human history, so little or no trace remains today. But in the 10th century, what we now call chateaux were made of stone. Perched on an outcrop are remains of the medieval fortress of Les Baux. This castle was once one of the most powerful in France. Today the old village is a pedestrian-only zone, and all vehicles must park outside the ramparts. Perched high on a hill, les Baux de Provence delivers magnificent views of the Alpilles, vineyards, olive groves, and the Mediterranean on a clear day.

Les Baux De Provence View

Located in the heart of the old village of les Baux de Provence, this museum has a permanent collection of roughly 100 works by Yves Brayer (1907-1990). Born in Versailles on the outskirts of Paris, Brayer attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He is considered a “master of graphism and colour.” Brayer was attracted to the Mediterranean climate; he painted many colourful landscapes living in Morocco, Spain and Provence.

Musée Yves Brayer (website)
Hôtel de Porcelet
Place François de Hérain,
13520 Les Baux-de-Provence
April to September: open daily from 10 am to 12:30 pm and 2 pm to 6:30 pm
October to March: 1 pm to 5:30 pm (closed on Tuesdays)
Closed: January, February and the beginning of March

Marseille:

Marseille is unlike any other city in France or the world, and at 2600+ years old, there is no shortage of things to discover. On the shores of the Mediterranean, you get the best of the city and beach in one place. In Marseille, you feel simultaneously on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea thanks to the large North African population. The capital of Provence still has the Provençal clichés of pastis, pétanque, and colourful facades. At the same time, the city is invigorated by street art, food from across the globe, and an epic coastline.

Marseille City Guide

Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranée – MuCEM

MuCEM (Museum of Civilisations from Europe and the Mediterranean): In collaboration with Roland Carta, this stunning architectural creation by Rudy Ricciotti has risen from the rubble of what was previously known as J4, an old ferry dock. MuCEM is a sparkling five-story glass cube implausibly enveloped by concrete latticework. The purpose-built concrete panels provide defused lighting and a windbreak while adding immense architectural interest to the structure.

MuCEM (website)
Esplanade du J4
13001 Marseille
Open daily

Parking to access MuCEM and Fort Saint-Jean is in the parkade just below the museum (Parking Indigo).
The museum opens at 11h and closes between 18h-20h, depending on the season.
Closed on Tuesdays.

MuCEM Marseille Explore Provence @PerfProvence

Musée Regards de Provence

Musée Regards de Provence is operated by la Fondation Regards de Provence, a private foundation, to display their collection of over 850 artistic works related to the region. The museum is housed in an old health sanitation station, where immigrants arriving by ferry were checked for diseases such as yellow fever and smallpox. This streamlined museum has evolved out of the skeleton of the abandoned station that had become filthy squatters’ quarters. On the top floor is Regards Café, with views of the MuCEM and other buildings. Make sure to reserve in advance.

Musée Regards de Provence (website)
Avenue Vaudoyer,
13002 Marseille
Closed on Mondays.

Musée Cantini

Originally constructed in 1694 as a private mansion (hôtel particulier) for la Compagnie du Cap Nègre, the building passed through several owners before Jules Cantini purchased the building in the mid-19th century. Cantini was a marble importer, thus constructing many religious and other sites in Marseille. He was also a lover of the arts. He donated the house to the city in 1916. The Musée Cantini has a permanent collection of “modern” artworks from the 20th century (1900 to 1960).

Musée Cantini (website)
19 rue Grignan,
13002 Marseille
Closed on Mondays
Open Tuesday-Sunday 10-19h
If you have the “My Pass Provence” card, the second person will get in for free
Audioguides are available

12 Places for Contemporary Art in Provence Musée Cantini

Musée d’ Histoire de Marseille

Marseille is the oldest town in France, so when you walk along by the Vieux Port, you follow in the footsteps of Greek fishermen, shopkeepers, sailors and traders who established their colony in 600 BC.  They and the Romans who arrived later have left traces that often emerge when a new building occurs. Musée d’ Histoire de Marseille, one of the largest museums in Europe. This museum received funding ahead of the Year of Culture (2013) to improve and modernize the displays. If you are interested in history, add this museum to your “must-see” list. Over 4000 artefacts in the collection cover 26 centuries of human settlement in Marseille (Greek: Massalia). The museum is steps from the Vieux Port.

Musée d’ Histoire de Marseille (website)
2 Rue Henri Barbusse,
13001 Marseille
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 h to 18 h

Le Puy Sainte Réparade: Château La Coste

Château La Coste is a vineyard set in a beautiful hilly landscape dotted with world-class architecture and works of art. This place is where in 2002, Irish businessman Patrick (Paddy) McKillen bought the existing La Coste winery near the village of Le Puy Ste Réparade to indulge his two passions: wine-making and creating a centre for contemporary art. The domaine is in the Bouches-du-Rhône between the Durance River and Luberon massif. In total, the property is 123 hectares in size. The vision to create a world-class setting for contemporary art, architectural structures, and good wine started in 2004. McKillen hired Jean Nouvel, a French architect, to develop the site master plan for the vineyard. Unveiled in May 2022, Bob Dylan’s Rail Car sculpture is now a permanent exhibit on the winery’s Art and Architecture Trail.

Read more about Château la Coste

RAIL CAR BY BOB DYLAN @ Chateau la Coste

Bob Dylan’s Rail Car ©Chateau la Coste


VAR

For an art lover’s outing, about an hour’s drive from Aix-en-Provence, head to La Commanderie de Peyrassol. This successful Var vineyard produces 500,000 bottles of wine a year and is a fast-growing contemporary sculpture park. In 2001, Philippe Austruy purchased the vineyard and handpicked his talented operations team. The 950 hectares property includes 93 dedicated to vines. Commanderie de Peyrassol produces top-quality wine (red, white and rosé) following best-practice vinification methodology.

In 2001, Philippe Austruy purchased the vineyard and handpicked his talented operations team. The property size is 950 hectares, 93 of which are dedicated to vines. Following best-practice vinification methodology, the Commanderie de Peyrassol produces top-quality wine (red, white and rosé).

Commanderie de Peyrassol
RN 7 – 83340 Flassans-sur-Issole
Telephone: +33 (0) 4 94 69 71 02

Porquerolles Fondation Carmignac Modern Art Porquerolles

©Lionel Barbe

Porquerolles: Fondation Carmignac

Fondation Carmignac was established as a corporate foundation in 2000. Today there are now over 300 artists’ works in the collection. In addition, the Foundation provides an annual photojournalism award, valued at 50,000 Euros, to the successful applicant. The Foundation Carmignac’s modern art exhibitions are another reason to visit Porquerolles.

Open to the public daily from April through November from 10h until sunset
Buy your tickets in advance.
Guided tours from Tuesday – Sunday at 14h
The ferry port is about a 10-minute walk
Important tips for your visit.

Self-Guided Art Walks


Vaucluse

Bonnieux: Fondation Blachère Art

In 2003, Jean-Paul Blachère launched Fondation Blachère, committed to promoting contemporary art from the African continent and its diaspora. During the subsequent 20 years, the art centre adjacent to the Blachère Illumination workshops hosted nearly 50 art exhibitions. In addition, more than 400 artists participated in art residencies in Apt and Ngaparou in Senegal. La Fondation Blachère also includes the family’s nearly 2000 diverse artworks collection. in 2013, Fondation Blachère moved to a new location at the one-time Bonnieux train station. After a renovation, the space is now suitable for display inside and outside, with art studios, apartments, a café, and a boutique dedicated to contemporary African art. The Foundation aims to support and raise awareness for this rich artistic scene.

Fondation Blachère
121 chemin de Coucourdon
La Gare de Bonnieux
84480 Bonnieux
Telephone: +33 (0)4 32 52 06 15
It is open Monday through Saturday all year, closed on Sundays, and open from 12:30 to 2 p.m. daily. It’s a good idea to book your visit online during busy periods.

Fondation Blachere

©Jeremie Pitot / collection Fondation Blachère

Ménerbes: Dora Maar House and La Mob

La Mob, the welcome center and gallery located on the ground floor of the Dora Maar House, opened in June of 2021. The mission of La Mob is to celebrate the creative life of artists in residence, and Dora Maar, as our first one, our beloved ghost, with her journeys on mobylette and in the pages of her notebooks, laid down the pathway for the many artists who follow in her footsteps. Each year there are 2-3 exhibitions promoting alumni, Dora Maar and artists of Ménerbes who are connected with Dora and the house. They also work with local artists and artisans on exclusive items for the boutique side of La Mob.

Dora Maar House (website)
58 rue du Portail Neuf,
84560 Ménerbes

Dora Maar House front door

©Nancy Brown Negley Artist Residency Program