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Marseille has some notable art galleries like MUCEM | © Francois Deladerriere
Marseille has some notable art galleries like MUCEM | © Francois Deladerriere
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Marseille's Most Notable Art Galleries

Picture of Alex Ledsom
Updated: 20 September 2017
Marseille isn’t the first choice on the Mediterranean coast when you think of art galleries but it has some very cool choices for contemporary and classic art, that can be divided into big and small. There are those that can take a morning to get round and are mainstream funded and those that are independent and offer a pleasant way to while away an hour or two, and where you can buy the art.

THE BIG GALLERIES

MUCEM

Technically, MUCEM is more of a museum but it runs interesting art programmes, so it’s always worth checking what’s on. The Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MUCEM) is the flagship of Marseille’s cultural scene, inaugurated in 2013 when Marseille was the capital of European Culture.

The MUCEM building is an art form in itself
The MUCEM building is an art form in itself | © Lisa Ricciotti Architectes Rudy Ricciotti et Roland Carta

The building is an art piece in itself and it runs interesting photographic shows, contemporary art displays and a lot of interesting exhibitions (with artwork) on everything from football to waste and recycling.

One of the art exhibits at MUCEM in 2017
One of the art exhibits at MUCEM in 2017 | © Yves Inchierman

Opening hours: 11am to 7pm, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays.

MUCEM, 7 Prom. Robert Laffont, Marseille, France +33 (0)4 84 35 13 13

Musée Des Beaux Arts

The Musée des Beaux-Arts is set on one side of the Palais Longchamps in Marseille (the Natural History Museum takes up the other half). It was established in 1802 in Marseille but moved to its current home in 1869. The Palais Longchamp is beloved by locals as one of the most beautiful buildings in Marseille, built to celebrate a ten-year project to bring water into the city from the nearby Durance river (hundreds of aqueducts were built). It has more than 8,000 pieces of art dating from the 16th and 17th centuries featuring Italian and French masters, and it usually features 200 at a time.

The Palais Longchamp, home to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Marseille
The Palais Longchamp, home to the Musée des Beaux Arts in Marseille | © Creative Commons/Pixabay

Opening hours: 10am to 6pm, Tuesday to Sundays. Closed Mondays.

Musée des Beaux Arts, 7 Rue Edouard Stephan, Marseille, France +33 (0)4 91 14 59 30

Musée D’Art Contemporain

Marseille’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) is small but perfectly formed. It was created in 1994 to showcase art from the 20th and 21st centuries. It holds lots of temporary exhibitions on subjects like hip hop and you can find lots of sculptures in the gardens outside by artists such as Jean-Michel Alberola and Julien Blaine. It has a range of permanent exhibits covering a variety of mediums. It’s a fun place where you’re as likely to find large, crazy installations as small black and white photos. Both are superb.

One of the exhibitions at the MAC in Marseille
One of the exhibitions at the MAC in Marseille | © Robert Cudmore/Flickr

Opening hours: 10am to 6pm, Tuesday to Sundays. Closed Mondays.

MAC, 69 Avenue d’Haifa, Marseille, France +33 (0)4 91 25 01 07

“La Voiture Rouge” (“The Red Car”) by Jean-Luc Parant at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Marseille on permanent exhibition
“La Voiture Rouge” (“The Red Car”) by Jean-Luc Parant at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Marseille on permanent exhibition | © marcovdz/Flickr

THE SMALLER, INDEPENDENT GALLERIES

David Pluskwa

The Galerie David Pluskwa has two locations in Marseille, one for contemporary art and the other for art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The latter is for Oriental and Provençal art which is impressionist or post-impressionist in style. The gallery began in 1991 with Provençal artists and it gradually gained more and more support to the point it was able to open the second contemporary art space. They have organised the St Tropez Art Show since 2014 (St Tropez has a thriving contemporary art scene) and are a big supporter of up and coming graffiti and pop artists.

Opening hours: 2.30pm to 6.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Galerie David Pluskwa, 53 Rue Grignan, Marseille, France +33 (0)6 72 50 57 31 (contemporary art)

Galerie David Pluskwa, 304 rue Paradis, Marseille, France +33 (0)6 72 50 57 31 (19th and 20th century art)

Galerie Anna Tschopp

The Galerie Anna Tschopp is run by collectors for collectors. They sell to people who collect art, not for people who buy art on behalf of other people. Because of its situation in Marseille on the Mediterranean coast, it has its sights firmly set on a Mediterranean vibe, from Gibraltar to Tangiers.

The Galerie Anna Tschopp
The Galerie Anna Tschopp | © Galerie Anna Tschopp

The gallery covers a range of mediums, including paintings, sculptures and drawings and they take pride in the fact that they spend time finding you the very piece of art that your heart desires.

The Galerie Anna Tschopp
The Galerie Anna Tschopp | © Galerie Anna Tschopp

Opening hours: 11am to 7pm. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. By appointment only.

Galerie Anna Tschopp, 197 Rue Paradis Marseille, France +33 (0)4 91 37 70 67