The Fondation Maeght is a private foundation, conceived and funded by the couple Aimé and Marguerite Maeght to present modern and contemporary art in all its forms. It was opened in the summer of 1964 by the French minister of cultural affairs, André Malraux. Aimé Maeght started his professional life with a printing company in Cannes in 1936, which was subsequently turned into his first art gallery.
After the war, inspired by Bonnard and Matisse, he opened the Gallery Maeght at the Rue de Téhéran in Paris, before opening the gallery space on the Colline des Gardettes just outside the village of Saint-Paul de Vence, overlooking the village, the hills, and Mediterranean sea. The Maeght’s friends, artists such as Georges Braque, Alexander Calder Marc Chagall, Alberto Giacometti, Fernand Léger and Joan Miró, were closely involved from the outset in giving form to the Foundation, “…which must before all be a place for art that remains alive,” as Miró emphasized.
The Fondation Maeght was born from the desire for a place where Aimé and Marguerite could present modern and contemporary art in all its forms, while their artist friends could come there to work, to exchange ideas and to exhibit. Its space with its two connected central buildings with their eye-catching roof was designed by Spanish architect, Josep Lluís Sert (who also designed Miró’s studio in Mallorca and the Miró Foundation in Barcelona) are surrounded by the Giacometti courtyard, the Miró labyrinth, with its wall mosaics and sculptures, and the sculpture garden at the entrance under the tall pine trees with the St BernardChapel, with stained glass windows by Braque and Ubac who also created the slate reliefs.
The Foundation is dedicated to art from the era, showcasing only part of its permanent collection at any one time. It also holds some three exhibitions, retrospectives, and group exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions aim to be in keeping with the spirit of Maeght’s collection while keeping pace with the art of the time. Recent exhibitions include Gloria Friedman, Fabrice Hyber, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, A.R. Penck, and Eduardo Arroyo.
The permanent collection includes works of Valerio Adami Jean Arp, Balthus, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Eduardo Chillida, Erik Dietman, Sam Francis, Alberto Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Ellsworth Kelly, Fernand Léger Joan Miró, Tal-Coat, and Ubac.