Museums and More in the Alpes-Maritimes

Museums and More in the Alpes-Maritimes

Twelve of the best places to experience the culture of this corner of France

Related articles: Beyond the Riviera in the Alpes-Maritimes
What to See and Do in Alpes-Maritimes


The attic of Antibes’s Château Grimaldi was Pablo Picasso’s studio from July to November 1946. It was a happy time for the artist, and his joy is expressed in the photographs, drawings, murals and paintings on display here from this period.

Fondation Maeght


The Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence was created by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, visionary collectors who counted some of the greatest artists of the day – Matisse, Braque, Chagall, Bonnard, Giacometti – among their friends.

Matisse Museum


Henri Matisse spent much of his life in Nice, whose morning light he adored. The museum documents the artist’s long, prolific career, from his early figurative works to his brilliant cut-outs and designs for his chapel, which he made at the end of his life.

Chagall Museum


Marc Chagall was another artist drawn to the magical light of Nice. This museum houses a collection of his larger works and is a revelation of his exuberant style. A new ceramics collection has recently opened.

MAMAC. Credit: A.Issock/ OTCN


Set in a soaring post-modern building on the place Garibaldi in Nice’s old town, the MAMAC collection consists of the works of post-war French artists alongside those of contemporary masters.

Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins


A surprising museum, it blends ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman art, weapons, armour, coins and jewellery with modern and contemporary art to brilliant effect, creating scintillating juxtapositions that offer new insights into both worlds.

Musée Fernand Léger


This museum contains many of the artist’s monumental works, including tapestries, sculpture, and mosaics based on his designs. Léger actually lived on the property for a short time before his death in 1955.

Chapel Folon


This graceful, luminous tribute to a brotherhood of monks called the White Penitents, who were once headquartered here, was Jean-Michel Folon’s last work. The artist died before it was finished and the job was completed by local artists.

Jean Cocteau Museum


[Editor’s note: This museum in Menton is currently closed for renovation works after flooding.] Set against sea and sky, this bleached white building by Rudy Ricciotti is the backdrop for Jean Cocteau’s elegant, hallucinogenic visions. All of Cocteau’s many media are represented here, including clips from his films Orphée and La Belle et La Bête.

Cap Moderne


Eileen Gray’s E-1027, now considered a titan of modernist architecture and design, was her first foray into architecture. Le Corbusier stayed at the house in 1938 before building his own cabin, the Cabanon de Vacances, down the road.

Musée des arts asiatiques. Photo: F Follet


This shimmering structure in Nice by Pritzker Prize-winner Kenzo Tange set in a reflecting lake is half the draw of this gem of a museum that brings together a small but masterful collection of Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Southeast Asian art.

Musée d’Archéologie Nice


Cimiez (Cemenelum) was the capital of the Roman province of Alpes Maritimae. Its elegant 3rd-century amphitheatre and baths can still be seen in the Cimiez park, along with a museum that illustrates the region’s long history.

From France Today magazine

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American journalist Jennifer Ladonne, a Paris resident since 2004, writes regular features on French heritage, culture, travel, food & wine for France Today magazine, and is the restaurants and hotels reviewer for Fodor's Paris, France and Provence travel guides. Her articles have appeared in CNN Travel, AFAR, The Huffington Post, MSN and Business Insider.

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