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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Maeght Foundation

St. Paul de Vence,  Provence
An exceptional collection of modern sculpture and painting including a large number of works by Giacometti and Miro, collected by the gallery owners Aimé and Marguerite Maeght. Many of the works were gifts of the artists.

This is one of those great collections that is defined by the natural surrounding, where each work is seen in reference to the other objects, creating a sense of the time and place in which they were created and collected. The physical situation and the outdoor gallery space is as important as anything inside, with works by Calder, Hepworth and Moore as you enter - and a garden filled with Miro's work as seen below.
September 2010.

There is a chapel with Braque stained glass and the extensive Giacometti collection includes his iconic figures, some only a few inches tall, to others that towered above me. There were also several of Giacometti's animal sculptures, including some very memorable fluid castings of a horse and dog.
More Miro!
The view is expansive.


The modernist building is particularly reminiscent of the Miro Foundation in Barcelona, which was also designed by the Catalan architect Lluis Sert, and is coincidentally built on a hill with lovely views. What was wonderful about visiting the Foundation is that it immediately puts you in touch with the artistic heritage of the area. Chagall lived in St. Paul de Vence for many years, and in addition many of the other artists represented here were connected to the area through the Maeghts.

I have voice memo audio of my impressions of the collection, which I'll try to put up when I master how to do it on blogger.

Highly recommended for fans of modern art a visit to the Maeght  Foundation is particularly enjoyable when combined with a trip to the Matisse chapel in nearby Vence. Check the opening days and times for the Rosaire chapel as the hours are limited. Its very much worth the visit to see the Matisse stained glass and his stations of the cross, which represents the final masterwork of his career. 
In the small museum I was surprised to see matching Catholic vestments designed by Matisse.

More information at the Maeght Foundation website.

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