The generational shift at one of Nice’s premier art museums reveals ambitious projects
“To look at something as though we had never seen it before requires great courage.” This Henri Matisse quote may prove to be the yardstick that Claudine Grammont, the new director of the Musée Matisse in Nice, will be held to. It is no small feat to follow in the footsteps of Marie-Thérèse Pulvénis de Séligny, the museum’s longtime eminent curator who recently retired. But Mme. Grammont’s distinguished career as a fauvism specialist, scholar, and researcher, as well as her international reputation as a leading Matisse expert, more than qualify her to re-invigorate the museum, one of Nice’s premier cultural assets.
It is a fluke of the calendar that Claudine Grammont has taken over the reins of the Matisse museum in the centennial year of the artist’s discovery of Nice. But it is also the motivation for her to turn the museum from a shrine dedicated to the painter and his body of work into a place that is open to partnerships and encourages collaboration with national and international institutions. One of the first items on the schedule will be the 2018 “Picasso Méditerranée” event all across France, to which the museum contributes a summer exhibit under the title “Matisse and Picasso, la comédie du modèle”. This exhibit, featuring about one hundred works, will revisit the relationship between the two artists, and their exchange on the subjects of the representation of the human body and the creative act.
Her love for the fine arts may have been inspired by her illustrious grandfather, fauvism painter Charles Camoin, but Claudine Grammont has distinguished herself through an impeccable CV, starting with her doctoral thesis in history of arts, on to her collaboration in high-profile museum projects around the world, and numerous publications on artists of the fauvism movement. She is also co-author of a three volume compendium “Matisse in the Barnes” . Nice is looking forward to her inspired – and inspirational – leadership of a premier art museum in the 21st century.
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Lead image courtesy Ville de Nice; photo of Musée Matisse de Nice © RIVIERA BUZZ