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Provence Art & History Museum, Grasse

Bringing together collections devoted to the history & art of eastern Provence

featured in Sights & Sites

With items from prehistoric times, and fine arts and decorative arts from as early as the 17th century, all the way up to the first half of the 20th century.

The museum was created in the 1920's by François Carnot, son of the president of the French Republic Marie François Sadi Carnot, who was married to the daughter of a perfume industrialist from Grasse.

The 18th-century mansion has retained its original distribution of staterooms and private spaces. Built by the Milanese architect Jean Orello, it has a typically Italian roof terrace and colourful façade, but a Provençal layout. The house, after being abandoned during the revolution, was sold to a family of perfumers, the Bruery brothers, who turned it into their factory changing the building extensively. Carnot bought it in 1918, restoring it to its former image as much as he could.

The collection is based around regional archaeology and popular arts and traditions, a selection of paintings, sculpture, graphic art, furniture, ceramics, glassware, textiles, jewellery and weapons, the museum tells the history of the eastern Provence whose traditions, firmly rooted in everyday life, favoured the emergence of strong local identities.

You can visit a traditional Provençal kitchen, the reception rooms and private apartments of the mansion and even a typical bathroom, all with authentic furniture and clothes. There is also a garden with roses, lemon trees and magnolias.

Worth knowing

Daily at 17:00 there is a free guided tour of the museum. You may attend this without a reservation.

Visitor comments

  • "It never fails to inspire me every time we come to Grasse. Even though the town is normally associated with perfumeries, for us there is a twin attraction: the museum and the walks following Napoleon's route into the mountains. The museum creates a complete and engrossing look at everyday life in eastern Provence since prehistoric times. Its a mesmerising look at the beauty of the ordinary" - Trip Advisor
  • "A very nice collection of various everyday and special items from the past. From clothing to jewels to weaponry, it's all here. Also some archaeological finds are displayed from a nearby site. Definitely worth a stop if in Grasse buying perfume or other Provencal gifts." - Trip Advisor
  • "This is a lovely little museum which tries hard and succeeds in giving you a flavour of life in Provence years ago. The staff are lovely and the views are great too" - Trip Advisor


Parking : Cours Honoré Cresp, Notre Dame des Fleurs, La Foux
Bus: towards Grasse Gare Routière – Thouron stop Sillages lines/SNCF Train Station: 2, 3, 4, 21, 33, 40
Train: SNCF terminal at Grasse, then shuttle towards Grasse Gare Routière – Thouron stop

When to come

Open 10:00-19:00 from May to September, 10:00-17:30 from October to April. Closed on May 1st, December 25th and January 1st.

How to get passes

The museum is free to visit so there is no need to reserve tickets in advance or purchase tickets at the venue.


Map of the surrounding area