This autumn, why not visit a few museums in the Atlantic Loire Valley?

Musée d'Arts de Nantes
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud
MACC (Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain) - Les Sables d'Olonne
Musée d'Arts de Nantes
MACC (Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain) - Les Sables d'Olonne

During your stay in the Atlantic Loire Valley, treat yourself to a slice of culture with fascinating visits to museums. Take a stroll through Fontevraud abbey, fill up on contemporary art in Le Mans, be charmed by naïve art in Laval... And don’t leave without visiting the Abbaye Sainte Croix and its modern art museum in Les Sables d’Olonne or the Musée d’Arts in Nantes. Make your getaway to Western France a cultural one!

A royal adventure at Fontevraud abbey (49)

At Fontevraud, you’ll come face to face with 900 years of history! In the heart of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, l’the royal abbey of Fontevraud stands over 13 hectares. It’s the largest surviving monastic city of the Middle Ages! Though home to the recumbent statues of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Henry II Plantagenet and Richard the Lionheart, this cultural site is very much alive. Its cultural programme, exhibitions and digital innovations invite every visitor to enjoy their own experience of Fontevraud.

And the icing on the cake? A new modern art museum, set to open in December 2020 at the royal abbey of Fontevraud, with over 900 works from private donations made by a couple passionate about art, Martine and Léon Cligman.

A new international collection of contemporary art in Le Mans (72)

Open since late September 2020, the Fonds International d’Art Actuel (international collection of contemporary art or FIAA) is injecting new cultural momentum into the city of Le Mans, on the site of La Visitation. It comprises the collections of the City of Le Mans, the company Lefranc&Bourgeois and the private collection of Lucien Ruimy, organiser of Puls’Art.

You're bound to find something among the works on display to amaze you, transport you and make you think! And, if you visit in December, you’ll be treated to the first temporary exhibition, on Vasarely.

A dose of naïve and singular art in Laval (53)

Venture inside the Vieux-Château in Laval for an immersion in the world of self-taught artists. Every year, over 42,000 intrigued visitors come here to be amazed and even stopped in their tracks by these works of naïve or singular art that stand outside any stylistic category. What’s more, the MANAS (Museum of Naïve and Singular Arts) has been identified on a national level as an establishment that discovers and supports artists isolated from distribution circuits.

NB: the temporary exhibition “Ogres and Bogeymen” is on until March 2021.

Echoing the Vendée Globe at the MASC in Sables d’Olonne (85)

Located in a 17th century abbey founded by Benedictine nuns from Poitiers, the Musée de l’Abbaye de Sainte-Croix occupies 2,500 m² of grand white rooms. On the 3rd floor, a loft room under the inverted hull-shaped roofing forms the oldest part of the building.

Nicknamed the MASC, this museum of modern and contemporary art is hosting “Figures from the World”, an exhibition echoing the Vendée Globe, from 18 October 2020 to 17 January 2021.

From the Italian Primitives to contemporary artists at the Musée d’Arts in Nantes (44)

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the highly modern presentation established here since 2017. The ambition of the Musée d'Arts de Nantes is to be a place to discover art above all, but also a cultural establishment that programmes a host of events and places visitors at the heart of its new project. Well, it has succeeded!

The series of spaces offers a wonderful chronological discovery of the French, Italian, Flemish and Dutch schools from the 13th to 18th centuries. The large groups from the modern art collection, now bathed in warm natural light in the first-floor spaces, enlighten visitors on the major themes of art history in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

One date for your diary: from 16 October 2020 to 31 January 2021, the exhibition “Hypnosis” explores, for the very first time, the cultural history of hypnotism from Mesmer to the present day, and the close ties maintained between artistic practices and the history of hypnotism from the late 18th century to today.

When staying in the Atlantic Loire Valley, you’ll always have a historic or cultural site nearby to immerse you in a unique world and even take you back in time!

Also read

MASC - Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain

The museum of modern and contemporary art is housed in the old Sainte-Croix Benedictine priory founded in 1622.
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After 6 years of closure, the Musée d'arts de Nantes re-opens in june 2017 with 2,000 m2 of additional exhibition space, restored
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Through its transversal programming combining marginal artistic expressions, contemporary art and creation in all its forms, MANAS
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