For more than sixty years, Martine and Léon Cligman collected paintings, drawings, and sculptures produced by nineteenth- and twentiethcentury artists, as well as antiques and artefacts from outside Europe (Africa, Oceania, Asia, and the Americas), thus building a rich and original collection. Thanks to the donation of a large part of the artloving couple’s personal collection of art, around 900 works constitute the collection of the future musée d’Art moderne de l’Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, located in a building called the Fannerie in the heart of the Royal Abbey.
The Fontevraud site is located in the heart of a commercial and geographical hub (Issoudun, Tours, Angers, and Cholet) which Léon Cligman a a leading figure in the textile industry sector in the textiles sector made the centre of his business activities for almost half a century. There has always been a strong link between Fontevraud and art, and for several years Fontevraud has developed a rich cultural programme and held events associated with the visual arts, the theatre, and music, enhanced by the presence of artists in residence (visual artists, musicians, etc.). The museum will thus complement in an original way Fontevraud’s cultural and heritage offering ; it is the oldest cultural exchange centre, supported by the French Ministry of Culture. A key part of the Pays de la Loire region’s cultural policy, the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud stands in the heart of the Val de Loire, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest monastic cities dating from the Middle Ages. Following major restructuring and construction work conducted under the project management of the Pays de la Loire region in the Fannerie building, the future musée d’Art moderne de l’Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud opens in 2021.
The aim of the future museum is to evoke the spirit and original approach of the collectors, by creating a dialogue and highlighting comparisons and associations between the works of nineteenth- and twentieth-century European avant-garde artists and artefacts from outside Europe via an amazing itinerary.