Cote d'Azur Museums - help me choose

Old Sep 28th, 2002, 04:08 PM
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Cote d'Azur Museums - help me choose

My family (youngest person is 20-yr-old) will be visiting the area near Nice over the Christmas holidays. I've been doing my homework and have made a list of museums:
Musee Picasso in Antibes
Fondation Maeght in St. Paul de Vence
Musee Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer
Musee Matisse in Nice
Musee Chagall in Nice
Musee des Beaux-Arts in Nice.
I know we won't have time to see all of these. If you had to choose two or three, which would you choose and why? Thanks for any advice.

If you have any other suggestions for late December, such as Noel celebrations, beautiful drives (We like outdoor activities and nature.), etc., I'd appreciate any help.
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 04:35 PM
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I'm and artist and art lover and would pick these (in this order)
3) Matisse

Chagall and Matisse are both in the city of Nice itself and are fairly closeby. Picasso is a bit out, but well worth it.

The others are worth it, but further out and would take more time. Renoir's house is charming, but there's not a big collection there (though seeing is studio thrilled me).
The Fondation Maeght is a longer trip and at Christmas might not be the best time to go (many of the scupltures are outdoors).

I haven't been to Musee des Beaux-Arts because I prefer modern art.

Whatever you decide, if you like Chagall, don't miss this museum!
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 04:53 PM
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Thanks, Paula. I was already leaning toward Matisse and Chagall. Two of us have been to the Picasso Museum in Paris, so I wasn't sure about that one. Again, thanks for your help.
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 07:23 PM
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Of course, Matisse and Chagall in Nice. But you're missing another gem there--the Nice's Modern Art Museum (I forget the true name, but it's good). They were having an excellent retrospective when we were there, but even on an ordinary day, you have a wonderful exhibition going on. My youngest kid is really into Klein as a result of that museum.

I love the Musee Picasso in Paris; therefore, the Musee Picasso in Antibes seems skeletal to me. However, I enjoyed the exhibits of other artists influenced by him.

The Fondation Maeght in St. Paul de Vence is worth the trip to St. Paul (to us, it's worth the trip to the Riviera), but the trip itself is not that convenient from Nice. Go if you can--and be sure to visit Chagall's grave there.

I agree with the above poster about the Musee Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer--there's not much to see, but all four of us in the family are so happy we went. We will always view Renoir's paintings with his sense of family in mind, now.

We did not care to see the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Nice. We did enjoy, however, the very short rail trip to Menton to see the Jean Cocteau Musee in the little fortress. I was a French literature minor, yet I never really appreciated his total creativity before.
The museum is tiny, but a little jewel. Perfect placement of his unique pastels.
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 07:46 PM
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Amy is right--the Modern Art Museum in Nice is terrific--especially if the roof garden is open.
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 07:48 PM
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My trip to the Fondation Maeght was the highlight of my stay in Nice. The setting is incredible. In my opinion, it is not to be missed. I intend to go back.
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 09:37 PM
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I loved the Matisse Museum in the Cimiez district high in the hills above Nice. Not only is the house lovely (it's painted red!), but the gardens and ancient Roman ruins around the museum are an added plus. It is definitely worth seeing - not to mention the spectacular views of the Nice and Cote d'Azur coastline below.
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 05:58 AM
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Thanks, everyone. I looked in my guidebook again to find the name of the modern art museum; it's Musee d'Art Contemporain. While looking, I realized that I also forgot to list the Galerie Raoul Dufy, which I think I would really enjoy. Any feedback on that one? I would love to see all of these (except maybe Musee des Beaux Arts), but I just know that it won't be possible time-wise. And at least one member of our party will definitely not want to do more than a couple! Keep the advice coming!
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 01:24 PM
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Ann, not to make your decision any more difficult, but when we were there in April we came across a gem I hadn't heard about before--Musee National Picasso La Guerre et la Paix in Vallauris. It'shoused in a 16th century chateau, but what is really amazing about it is there is a chapel there with murals on the walls and ceiling painted by Picasso (the theme being war and peace). If you're a Picasso fan, this is most certainly worth the trip if you can swing it. They are opened daily from 10-12 and 2-6 except Tuesdays. (Keep in mind that many museums close from 12-2.)

I know, too many choices...but that's just a good reason to go back again, right?

Old Sep 29th, 2002, 01:53 PM
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Paula: I had to laugh when I saw your post. There are so many Riviera secrets, aren't there? Why would anyone go there for that dreadful Nice beach?

One of our faves was the village of Mougins--tiny photographic museum filled ceiling to floor, two floors of photographs of Picasso with his various loves, children, bulls, etc. I keep posting over and over again about the baptismal mosaic by Chagall in Vence. It's only worth it, though, if you've enjoyed his other work. And then you embrace it. Or how about the "Suzy" musee in Haut Cagnes? Poor Ann, the choices are endless (and she has one person who isn't going to like any of them!).

Our best, Ann. We hope you not only enjoy the museums you choose but also fall in love with a painting/artist you've never seen!
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