Museums in Lyon: Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC)

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Situated on the edge of the famous Tete d'Or Park, the Contemporary Art Museum (Le Musée d'Art Contemporain) in Lyon is a place that attracts art lovers from all over the world. People in Lyon are very fond of this museum, and they simply call it – MAC. In this most incredible art space, you can see some outstanding exhibitions and retrospectives, such as those of Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Ben. The museum building is also another reason why you should put this place on your Lyon must-see list.

A story about the MAC

In 1984, the Contemporary Art Museum was officially created in Lyon. Unfortunately, this museum didn't have its building, and it was housed in the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. Finally, in 1995, it was moved in a space designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano. This new building was made using the facade of the old Palais de la Foire de Lyon that was built from 1918 to 1935 by Charles Meysson, a French architect. Unfortunately, it was partly destroyed in the 1980s. This new museum building is much more impressive. Extended on the 6000m2 and three levels, it has flexible walls that can be adapted to all artistic projects and needs. This museum also allows changing the lightning for every exhibition. The light can be natural, artificial, or even zenithal. Another particularity of this place is the fact that the people can freely cross through it during its open hours.

© Flickr/Fred Romero

The museum collection

The Contemporary Art Museum in Lyon has a collection of more than 1400 works created by artists from all over the world from the 1940s to the present. This collection is shown in rotation, which means that every time a visitor comes to see this place, he can discover an entirely new museum. But another particularity of it is also that this place is wholly dedicated to the artists. Now, you probably think that every museum is dedicated to the artists. But, let me give you a few examples of what artists can actually do in the MAC. Cai Guo-Qiang, a Chinese artist, made a real roller coaster, and Mathieu Briand installed nothing less than a saltwater pool inside this museum! In 2008, the entire MAC was consecrated to the American street artist, Keith Haring.

Practical information

The Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) in Lyon closes between each temporary exhibition, for the preparation and assembly of the new shows. For that reason, before you decide to visit this museum, you should check the opening time on its website. The full entrance ticket for adults costs 16 euros. The entrance is free of charge for children under 15. After visiting the exhibition, you can take a break at the museum's café. This place has a lovely terrace facing the Tête d'Or Park.

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