Collection Lambert – One Man’s Lifelong Passion

La Collection Lambert in Avignon is one of the world’s richest and most well-studied private collections of contemporary art. Opened in 2000 in the former Hôtel de Caumont at Avignon, it currently presents more than 1200 works, writes Bradley Kuett.

Plan of the palace in 1914.

Plan of the Palais des Papes  in 1914. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Yvon Lambert donates nearly 600 works of art; Avignon’s La Collection Lambert to double in space; exhibit of five woman artists to open June 2013

by Bradley B Kuett  of  the Provence Ventoux Blog 

I recall the numerous times when viewing the exceptional exhibitions at La Collection Lambert, situated in the Hôtel du Caumont in a peaceful corner of Avignon, that casual conversations with other visitors would reveal that they are unaware of the actual fact that the Collection represents the lifelong passion of one man: Yvon Lambert.

Another actual fact that would go unrecognized is that La Collection Lambert is one of the world’s richest and well-studied private collections of contemporary art.

Last November at the museum in the presence of the President Francois Hollande, Yvon Lambert announced that he was donating nearly 600 works of art to the State and to their permanent domicile in the city of Avignon (video clip). Christie’s places an estimated value of the donation of Yvon Lambert at about $130 million.

Subsequently, the city of Avignon and the Culture Ministry agreed to arrange financing to double the current exhibition space of the Hôtel du Caumont by occupying the neighboring Hôtel de Montfaucon, which currently houses the Avignon Art School.

The “masterpieces” from the donation of Yvon Lambert are currently on display at the Hôtel du Caumont until November 11.


An exquisite passion for art came to a precocious Yvon Lambert at a young age in his native Vence, thirty miles northeast of Nice; he purchased his first work of art at the age of 14. He opened his first gallery in Vence, and in 1966, he founded a gallery in Paris.

Yvon Lambert held the firm conviction that Paris had faded on the horizon of the art world, and that the rising stars in art burned brightest in America. In the 1970’s, his acquisitions of minimal art, conceptual art and land art came to form the brilliant core of the Collection Lambert. The following decades brought a veritable effulgence of esteemed works: in the 80’s paintings: in the 90’s photography, and since then video installations, more paintings and new art.

In the 1990’s, Yvon Lambert decided to put his collection on public display. Reaching an agreement with the city of Avignon, Yvon Lambert placed on loan for a period of twenty years his collection, which was installed in the Hôtel du Caumont . La Collection Lambert in Avignon opened in July 2000.

The Collection:

In building his collection since the 1960′s, Yvon Lambert devoted himself to presenting a coherent representation of an artist’s oeuvre to the point where for certain artists Avignon is the unique place in France to view so many of an artist’s masterpieces.

This is certainly the case for such artists in La Collection Lambert as: Cy Twombly, featured in an exposition “Blooming” in 29007 and Le Temps Retrouvé, Cy Twombly Photographs and Invited Artists in 2011; Andres Serrano in an exhibit of 120 photographs in 2006, Sol LeWitt (more than 35 sculptures, works on paper and wall drawings), and Nan Goldin (70 photographs). Other distiguished artists in the Collection Lambert include Donald Judd, Brice Marden, Daniel Buren, Gordon Matta-Clark, Anselm Kiefer, Miquel Barcelò, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger, Douglas Gordon, Bertrand Lavier, Loris Gréaud, Vincent Ganivet, and Zilvinas Kempinas.

2013 Exhibition in Honor of Five Women Artists

In 2013, La Collection Lambert will honor five women artists – Louise Bourgeois, Camille Claudel, Kiki Smith, Jana Sterbach and Berlinde de Bruyckere.

The Palais des Papes will also exhibit the five artists giving the exhibition a citywide scope similar to the 2010 showing of Miquel Barcelo held at La Collection Lambert and the Palais. The exhibit will run from June until November 11, 2013.



Collection Lambert, 5, rue Violette, Avignon, tel: 04 90 16 56 20, Open daily except Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 p.m. in July and August.WebsiteMap.

Current Exhibition: ‘The Masterpieces from the Donation of Yvon Lambert.” Until Nov 11. Past exhibits: Cy Twombley,Miquel Barcelo

Galerie Yvon LambertWebsite, Photo r. Robert Rauschenberg, Tétouan, Morocco, 1952, by Cy Twombley

METropolitan Restaurant: Located in the courtyard of l’Hôtel du Caumont (photo above), fall hours: open for lunch tues to sat. 12 to 2:30 p.m.Website

Dining Out in Avignon: Here

Story: Bradley Kuett

Author: Bradley Kuett is a writer / consultant based in the Vaucluse.
This report, written by Bradley B Kuett of the Provence Ventoux Blog is reprinted here by kind permission of the author who retains all rights.

Provence Ventoux Le Blog (PVB):  offers annals of life in the Vaucluse, the soi-disant French California, experienced by people living there.  The blog is structured in four columns: food, wine, culture and reportage.  PVB is an exercise in entourage reportage: observations, impressions and points of view (POV) offered by a cadre of individuals who are at times at the same table or event. PBV does not aspire to the role of critic for food, wine or culture. An appropriate label would read bystander, observer or raconteur. PVB is published in English and edited by Bradley Kuett, who has frequented Aix-en-Provence since 1996.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to our RSS feed!