Friday, October 17, 2014

First we went to prison....

We went yesterday to visit the Prison Saint Anne.  This prison, within the walls of the city of Avignon, is just behind the Palais des Papes, and was built expressly to serve as a prison. It is one of France's oldest prisons and only closed in 2003.  Nothing has been done to it since that time.  At the moment, however, it houses a contemporary art collection donated to the French government by gallery owner Yvon Lambert.  This collection, the Collection Lambert,  is normally in a huge building, just down the road from where we are staying, but since that building is currently being renovated, the collection is being shown within the prison itself.  The current exhibit is called The Disappearance of the Fireflies and it is awesome, for its art, and somewhat disturbing because of its location.  (Sorry, I was mostly moved by the prison itself, overwhelmed by its possible stories, and haven't included much of the'll see what I mean by the photos...)

One of many closed doors.
 I believe there are nearly 200 cells in all, some for men and some for women.  Some of the hallways had green doors, some red, some other colours.  For this exhibit, there is a piece of art in nearly every room.
 Some of the cells had windows, but not all.
 It is housed on three floors.
 This is one of the pieces of art work.
I found this interesting.  And disturbing.

The collection is on display until the 25th of November, should you be in the area, and opens every day at 11.

The day was sunny and hot and it was good to get out and walk around.  After leaving the Collection Lambert, that is, the prison, we went to the Musee Angladon.  This collection is housed in an old private mansion pretty much in the centre of old Avignon.  There are works here by Degas, Daumier, Manet, van Gogh, Cezanne, Modigliani, and many more.  Here is a small sampling....

 Modigliani, La Blouse Rose
 Degas, some of his dancers...
 van Gogh, Wagons de chemin de fer...

An example of an 18th century parlour, although I'm not sure if it was formerly in this particular mansion or not,

It was a busy day, going to two exhibits in one afternoon, but all in all, two pretty amazing collections of art.

Oh yes, and then there is my little humble offering for the day.  A couple of sketchbook pages.  Yes, I know, I shouldn't give up my day job....oh right, I did already...retired.....

Those sweet little crabapples are still going strong!!  The bottom pic is what I see from the  kitchen table as I am working on my computer.  It'll be fun to look at this as time goes on....nice memories.

So that's it for today.  I'll be back.

I have included a couple of links showing some information about the current Collection Lambert.  I'm sure a Google search would turn up more.


  1. What a feast of art - yours included! I love your drawing of what you see from the kitchen table.

    1. Thanks Margaret. I know I'll remember things so much better than if I had simply taken a photograph....although clearly, I like doing that also!!

  2. Of course the art is fabulous !!!
    But, the prison and the untold stories, the imagined voices and the hauntings would grab most of my attention. Our local prison finally opened for tours many years after it closed ... the eeriness of the slowly decaying cells, the marks on the walls and the vastness of the structure have stayed with me.
    I think my city should follow suit and open it up as artists studios and show galleries !

    1. To be sure, Sharron, it was the prison itself that held my attention and that has stayed with me. Haunting indeed. Such a powerful setting for the art....