Thursday, March 29, 2012


One morning I was running some errands near Place Garibaldi in Nice before going to the beach that afternoon.  While leaving one shop to go to another, I noticed it was starting to rain lightly outside.

Rain seems to be such a rare occurrence in the Cote d’Azur during the summer, and so after doing my last bit of shopping I started to head back to my hotel thinking perhaps my plans for the beach that afternoon would be ruined.

Then I realized I was outside the Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain (MAMAC).


Many times over the years I had walked by the MAMAC in Nice and had never gone inside, which is a shame really because now when I think about it, I’ve probably missed out on some beautiful exhibitions.  Deciding there was no time better than the present, I thought I’d go inside and see what it as all about.

Situated in central Nice, the MAMAC is steps away from Place Garibaldi at the Promenade des Arts.  If you are using the tramway to get to the MAMAC, step off the tram at Garibaldi Station and walk back through the square but stay on your right walking towards the Monoprix grocery store.

Directly behind Monoprix, off Place Garibaldi is the MAMAC with its unusual architecture that is so different from the other surrounding buildings.  Just follow the street towards the center of the building, with the entrance being inside the circular structure on the main level.

The construction of the MAMAC was completed in 1990 and opened to the public.  And although I have heard there is somewhat of a love/hate relationship from people with the architectural design of this important modern and contemporary art museum and its grounds, it doesn’t seem to stop anyone from attending the museum or even taking pictures of its unique aspects.

Admission to the MAMAC is free; the helpful staff working the front desk is just interested to know where you are visiting from for their visitor’s records.  The museum is closed on Mondays but otherwise open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am-6pm.

Ahead of you now are four different levels of artwork in a variety of mediums to discover.  When I find out I have the permission to explore something, I’m all over it.  First off, you can tell art, in whichever way you wish to interpret it, is infused throughout the building.  Right from the moment you enter the MAMAC until you leave the grounds.

I loved going from one floor to another, not quite knowing what to expect around each corner.  In areas, it appears that even the natural light from the design of the building was used from varying angles to accentuate an art piece in certain locations.

There are the standard art pieces grand-fathered within the MAMAC, but there are also new exhibits from all over the world that make their way through the museum as well.  With far too many artists to list here, you will basically find something from the likes of Francis Bacon to Picasso and Andy Warhol to Yves Klein. 

Make sure you take the time to go through every floor and do not miss the rooftop garden area.  I had previously heard this could be a place for men to cruise one another, although I didn’t experience anything like that, perhaps because of the sprinkling of rain that day.

When you do arrive on the rooftop, you will be able to walk around the entire circumference of the MAMAC; here you will see some spectacular views of the city from various vantage points.

Visiting the MAMAC is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.  Don’t do what I did and decide to go check out the MAMAC on a rainy day, make it a part of your day.  Either way it will lift your spirits and inspire you.


Allison said...

Normally I don't go for modern art, but I love this museum because it creates a terrific sense of place... Great photos!


Jameson said...

It is a great space, calming and you don't feel rushed to look around.

Love your website by the way!