THE FRENCH RIVIERA TO CELEBRATE CENTENARY OF JFK’S BIRTH

JFK aurait eu 100 ans cette année. JFK would have turned 100 this year.

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To celebrate the centenary of the birth of JFK, famed writer and producer Frédéric Lecomte-Dieu will be curating a one-off photo exhibition “John F. Kennedy 1917 – 2017” in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

The exhibition runs from the 15th to the 30th of May at the Mairie in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, one of the Kennedys’ favourite holiday destinations, and will shed light on the life and career of the most popular American president in history. Just one of the many events that will be organized in 2017 on the French Riviera in honour of JFK!

In parallel to the main exhibition, 100 captioned pictures will be available for 24 hours only on the centenary website. This temporary display will take place on the 29th of May, the actual birthday of the late president.

On the 21st of July, Lecomte-Dieu will present his one-man show, “Dallas ! On a tiré sur le président Kennedy” at the Palais de l’Europe in Menton. For an hour and a half, he will give a voice to some 10 characters, including Lyndon Baines Johnson, Robert Kennedy, J.Edgar Hoover, Martin Luther King, Pierre Salinger, and Richard Nixon, as they pay their respects to the 35th president as his coffin lies in repose in the East Room of the White House.

Lecomte-Dieu has been working as a biographer of the famous clan since 1995, in collaboration with the U.S. National Archives and the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. His extraordinary work has earned him praise from the highest levels of American government, notably during the 1998 exhibition, “Kennedy – The American Dream”. Since then he has continued to show his extensive collection of pictures throughout the world. The “Generation Kennedy” exhibition in 2001 at the Métropole Shopping Centre in Monte-Carlo attracted nearly 300,000 visitors. He is also regularly invited to speak at conferences, and is usually the first port of call for the French-speaking media each time there is some breaking news concerning the Kennedys.

TWO NEW EXHIBITIONS AT MUSÉE JEAN COCTEAU IN MENTON

Pour sa réouverture, le musée Cocteau à Menton présente 2 nouvelles expositions. For its reopening, the Cocteau museum in Menton presents 2 new exhibitions.

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The Musée Jean Cocteau collection Séverin Wunderman recently reopened its doors and is celebrating this “re-inauguration” with two new temporary exhibitions, running until mid-March.

The first exhibition, “Démarche d’un poète” (A Poet’s Approach), based on Cocteau’s eponymous essay, focuses on the mythological itinerary of the multi-talented artist who believed that “the secret of poetry is to take things from the places in which habit has set them and reveal them from a different angle as though we see them for the first time.”

Cocteau’s career, which encompasses novels, plays, poems, films, essays, autobiographical writings, journalism, painting, and a voluminous correspondence, is marked not only by its profusion and diversity, but also by its creativity. As James P. Mc Nab wrote in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, “Cocteau’s willingness and ability to turn his hand to the most disparate creative ventures do not fit the stereotypical image of the priest like—or Proust-like—writer single-mindedly sacrificing his life on the altar of an all-consuming art. But the best of his efforts, in each of the genres that he took up, enriched that genre.”

Meanwhile, the second exhibition, “De aquis confusis (Mingled Waters), is dedicated to the work of Frédérique Nalbandian, an artist who uses plaster and soap to create pieces that oscillate between sustainability and ephemerality, a balance that bodes well with the spirit of the museum. Opened in 2011 and located in a striking building which evokes a labyrinth, the goal of the Jean Cocteau Museum is to present the different aspects of the artist’s genius, but also to show the man behind the myth.

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The works, which include some 1,190 drawings, prints, paintings, ceramics, tapestries, jewellery, books and manuscripts by Cocteau himself, as well as photographs relating to the artist and works by fellow artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, and Di Chirico, are arranged based on seven specific themes that each correspond to an important stage in the artist’s career: the topic “Blood of the Poet” for instance, is connected with Cocteau’s most renowned literary works, such as “Les Enfants Terribles” and “La Machine Infernale”, while another one, “Mysteries”, features the poetry and films Cocteau created post-WWII, such as “La Belle et la Bête”.

Moreover, since Cocteau is considered to be one of the fathers of modern art, it is fitting that these temporary exhibitions serve to highlight the works of current contemporary artists.

Admission to the museum also includes access to the Bastion, the abandoned Fort Menton’s “adopted son”, restored and decorated with mosaics and tapestries to house some of Cocteau’s own artworks.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Jean Cocteau collection Séverin Wunderman
2, quai de Monléon
06500 MENTON

Tel: +33 4 89 81 52 50

All images courtesy Musée Jean Cocteau collection Séverin Wunderman

Menton Celebrates Multi-Talented Artist, Jean Cocteau, with Brand-New Museum

Cet article a été publié dans FR2DAY en 2011 (this article was published in FR2DAY in 2011)

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It has been a long and rich love story between the city of Menton and poet, painter, film-maker and dramatist Jean Cocteau; a story that dates back to the 1950s when the artist was commissioned by the city to create a number of artworks, including the Salle des Mariages in the city hall. In recognition, the city adopted Cocteau as an honorary citizen. A few years later, the multi-talented artist designed his own museum in a small and abandoned fort, the “Bastion”, which he restored and decorated with mosaics and tapestries to house some of his own artworks. On the 6th of November, a new museum dedicated to the artist, the Jean Cocteau Museum – Séverin Wunderman Collection will open its doors in Menton’s old town.

Located in a striking building which evokes a labyrinth, the collection is made up of over 2,000 works, including 1,190 drawings, prints, paintings, ceramics, tapestries, jewellery, books and manuscripts by Cocteau himself. It also includes 172 photographs relating to Cocteau and 278 works by fellow artists such as PicassoModigliani and Di Chirico. Most of the collection was gathered by art lover, Séverin Wunderman, former owner of Swiss luxury watch brand Corum.

The goal of the museum is to present the different aspects ofJean Cocteau’s genius but also to show the man behind the myth. The works are therefore arranged based on seven specific themes that each corresponds to an important stage in the artist’s career: the topic “Blood of the Poet” for instance is connected with Cocteau’s most renowned literary works, such as “Les Enfants Terribles” and “La Machine Infernale“, while another one “Mysteries” features the poetry and films Cocteau created post-WWII, such as “La Belle et la Bête“.

Moreover, since Cocteau is considered to be one of the fathers of contemporary art, temporary exhibitions will highlight current contemporary artists. The first one to be honoured isBordeaux based artistJean Sabrier, who gives new perspectives to paintings through art history. This exhibition runs until 7th May 2012.

The space also includes an educational workshop areaintended for school groups, an appointment-only print roomfeaturing additional works from the collection, a documentation center, an indoor and outdoor café, and a gift shop.

This new museum, which is the largest collection in the world of works by Cocteau, is expected to draw 100,000 visitors a year. That should definitely be enough to put Menton on the cultural map, in a region that already is home to many great modern art museums.