The Fondation Maeght

The Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght is a unique place, created by a couple in love with the arts, friends of the greatest artists, Bonnard, Matisse, Braque, Léger, Chagall, Giacometti, Calder or Miró. The Maeghts wished to offer painters, sculptors, musicians and all contemporary creators, a setting and a powerful tool to present their works ideally.
Located on the wooded hills of the hinterland of the French Riviera, between Cannes and Nice, the Foundation deploys its buildings in a preserved nature, hanging over the Mediterranean. The Foundation is nestled in a pine forest where the scents of lavender, jasmine and orange blossom contribute to the magic of the place. In the summer, the song of the cicadas gives rhythm to the days, relayed, in the other seasons, by the chirping of the birds which populate this small paradise.
"I had six hectares of land on the hill of Saint-Paul. I built my house there. But one of my sons died, and I didn't want anything else. It was again the painters who suggested the way forward. Georges Braque encouraged me to undertake something that would help me overcome my pain: a place of modern art among the thyme and rosemary. And Fernand Léger told me: "If you do that, I'll bring you my daub. I will even paint the rocks. Aimé Maeght.
In 1953, after the death of their youngest son, Bernard, after months of struggle with leukemia, Aimé and Marguerite decided, on Léger's advice, to go to the United States to see the great foundations: Barnes, Phillips, Guggenheim. Aimé's idea becomes clearer. He dreamed of a place where he could gather his collection and where his artist friends could work and exchange ideas. "I needed air and space, I didn't want a super-gallery but something else that would be owned by the community and would be an independent enterprise to be able to act." Aimé already has a clear vision of the role he wants to play: "The relationship of art and the state cannot be normal. I claim that it is extremely difficult for a state agency to deal with Art vivant. It is not its role. It must conserve and educate."

Artists used to come to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, to the Maeght's house at the "Mas Bernard" or at the Auberge de la Colombe d'Or. Braque spent the winter months there. Joan Miró and his family preferred the summer. Around them, poets and writers gather. Prévert, Frénaud, Eluard, Sartre, Char, Reverdy, Paulhan and others will come there. The Maeghts do everything to make their friends feel at home. They felt so comfortable there that they did everything to accompany Aimé so that the great dream would become reality. All the artists of the Gallery rush into the project with passion. Each one proposes, invents, builds. Aimé listens, synthesizes, organizes.

Entirely conceived and financed by the couple Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, the Foundation is inaugurated on July 28, 1964, the Foundation is a remarkable example of timeless architecture designed to present modern and contemporary art in all its forms. The large white impluviums give the whole a lightness and a graphic identity known and recognized worldwide. The Foundation offers the 150,000 annual visitors a stroll between art and nature, notably in the exceptional sculpture garden and in the Labyrinth, a monumental work of Land Art by Joan Miró.

The Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght has one of Europe's most varied and extensive collections of modern and contemporary art, paintings, sculptures and graphic works. The founders donated a large part of their personal collection to the Foundation and encouraged artists to create specific works to embellish the collections.
The artists that Aimé Maeght exhibited in his galleries are mainly represented in the collections. They can be divided into two categories:
  • Historical Grand Masters of the 20th century 
    • Pierre Bonnard
    • Vassily Kandinsky
    • Henri Matisse
    • Georges Braque
    • Marc Chagall
    • Alberto Giacometti
    • Alexander Calder
    • Fernand Léger
    • Bram van Velde
    • André Derain
    • Joan Miró
  • Post war generation 
    • Adami
    • Alechinsky
    • Baya
    • Bazaine
    • Bury
    • Chillida
    • Gasiorowski
    • Kelly
    • Lindner
    • Monory
    • Palazuelo
    • Rebeyrolle
    • Riopelle
    • Steinberg
    • Tal Coat
    • Tàpies
    • Ubac

 Aimé Maeght and Georges Braque

Aimé Maeght was a great supporter of artists as a collector, patron, gallery owner, producer, printer and publisher. Throughout his life he published more than 12,000 original lithographs and engravings, and of course he kept copies of each of his editions or productions at the Foundation. The Foundation thus possesses a collection of prints of a variety, diversity and historical quality envied by many museums.

For over 50 years, the Foundation has permanently presented part of its collections and annually presents several temporary exhibitions.
In 2011, after having been an administrator of the Foundation, Yoyo Maeght leaves the Board of Directors of the Marguerite and Aimé Maeght Foundation, disapproving of the programming and no longer feeling the innovative spirit that was so important to his grandfather, Aimé Maeght.
List of exhibitions at the Maeght Foundation since 1964. To download here