January 6, 2012
1 Jean Cocteau Museum
2 Jean Cocteau Museum
Some may argue that it has been a long time coming, but at last the elegant town of Menton, located between Monaco and the Italian Riviera, is celebrating Menton’s long and rich love affair with the painter, poet, filmmaker and dramatist Jean Cocteau, with the opening of the Jean Cocteau Museum.
Menton’s association with Cocteau dates back to the 1950s, when the multi-talented artist was commissioned by the city of Menton to create various pieces of art, including the Salles des Mariages in the city hall. In gratitude of the splendid work Cocteau carried out in the city, Menton adopted the artist as an honorary citizen.
It was during this time that Jean Cocteau transformed a small and abandoned fort in Menton into a museum for his personal artwork, where he hung his own paintings, tapestries and mosaics.
On November 6, 2011, Menton opened its doors to its own Jean Cocteau Museum, located in Menton’s Old Town in a building, so striking in its aesthetical merits that it does Cocteau’s artwork the justice it deserves.
Until May 7, 2012, the Severin Wunderman Collection will be held at the Cocteau Museum. The collection has been gathered by Severin Wunderman, a well-known art lover and former owner of the Swiss luxury watch brand Corum.
The exhibition consists of more than 2,000 artworks, including ceramics, books, paintings, tapestries, drawings, manuscripts, prints and jewellery made by Cocteau himself. A handful of artworks created by fellow artists, including Modigliani, Picasso and Di Chirico, are also on display at the exhibition.
Considered as one of the ‘fathers of contemporary art’, the aim of the Cocteau Museum in Menton is to highlight, not only various aspects of the artist’s genius, but to also reveal the real man behind the myth.
The new museum includes an educational workshop area, an appointment-only print room, a documentation centre, a gift shop, and two cafes. The Cocteau Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of works by Cocteau and is expected to attract 100,000 visitors a year.