20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Jean Cocteau Museums, Menton

Our five-week housesit in Nice, France allowed us ample time to explore the surrounding area. One day we took the #100 bus (sixty minutes each way) from Nice to Menton which is the last town on the French Riviera before the Italian border. 

This lovely town is home to approximately 30,000 inhabitants and synonymous with the sleek and modern Jean Cocteau Museum. 

Photo Courtesy of Riviera Magazine
Photo Courtesy of http://mosaiquesdegalets.com/
When viewed from street level it is surprisingly low key.

It appears to almost be dwarfed by the surrounding town buildings.

The entrance was so impressive neither John nor I stopped to take a photo! 

Photo Courtesy of Flickr
If you look carefully at the next pic about halfway back is the glassed-in walkway that leads to the interior.

Inside it is one of the most structurally dynamic museums we've ever toured.

Watching a video

And yet the natural light posed a problem and we were not the only ones to notice. The majority of floor-to-ceiling windows as well as those that cut into the roof were curtained. Even with these precautions it was difficult to take photos (see my reflection in the close up below), view the exhibits or even watch the numerous video segments available. 

Close up of The Lovers tapestry
Jean Cocteau designed one of the first covers for Menton's Festival de Musique.

His talent was not restricted to art, however. He was a poet, playwright, novelist, actor, film director, painter, potter and textile designer.

Judith and Holophernes, Aubusson tapestry, 1948-1985, 300 X 350 cm  
Orpheus, tapestry, 1963, 98 X 135 cm
The Lovers, Aubusson tapestry, 1948, 137 X 104 cm
 His paintings are equally vibrant in both colour and design.

On the wall of the gift shop is a photograph of this talented man.

So talented in fact that kitty corner across the street is another museum dedicated to his life's work. It is housed in an old fort.

The entrance is through the gateway to my right opposite the Mediterranean Sea. 

Of the old and new buildings both John and I thought the fort did a much better job of showcasing Cocteau's work. The warmth of the stone interiors seemed a much better fit to our way of thinking.

The entrance on the lower level
Lizard floor design
Second floor

One of the features we especially liked were the little arched nooks and crannies that provided the perfect venue to display Cocteau's pottery.

There is so much more to Menton than the Jean Cocteau museums, but as our time was limited we restricted ourselves to a stroll in the nearby park and beach.

Then we walked back to the bus station and past a park that had a number of decorations from Easter. 

What a totally enjoyable day in Menton!

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