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©Patrimoine Montois|Yvan Manioski
Mont de Marsan

City of culture and sculpture

Mont-de-Marsan is rich in architecture and a strong heritage. Whether through its museums, its buildings or through the sculptures scattered around the city, come and discover the heart of the Landes through its culture.

The Despiau-Wlérick Museum

An exceptional heritage site

Please note: As the museum is preparing for renovations until the end of 2024, the exhibition rooms of the permanent collections are no longer accessible.
However, you can discover the temporary exhibitions “as well as the sculpture garden.

Since its opening in 1968, the Despiau-Wlérick museum has been housed in a set of medieval buildings from the 14th century, located in the historic center of Mont de Marsan. Dominated by the mass of the “Lacataye keep”. Organized from the outset around an “open-air museum”, the Despiau-Wlérick museum has two sculpture gardens accessible to the public.

In this heritage space, the Despiau-Wlérick museum presents part of its collection of 20th century sculptures, whose specialization is unique in France.

Sculpture in the museum

The collection, now rich in nearly 2,400 sculptures, covers a period from 1850 to the present day. The museum presents works of all sizes, from the most monumental (5m high), to the most fragile preparatory pieces in plaster, earth, wax and plasticine, essential witnesses to the techniques of the sculptor’s studio.

Collections of national interest

The entire museum occupies an area of approximately 2000m², half of which is dedicated to the presentation of the collections. These bring together nearly 2,400 sculptures, a thousand paintings and a large graphic collection of more than 11,000 works.

Now recognized as being of national interest, this complex has been augmented by several major acquisitions.

The museum route

The route of the permanent collections of sculptures unfolds on three levels within the Lacataye “donjon”.

Just over 200 works are exhibited on an area of approximately 600m². On the ground floor, a set of works by Charles Despiau. The first floor is devoted to the sculptures of Robert Wlérick and the second floor presents a major set of works from the interwar period presented during the international exhibitions in Paris in 1925, 1931 and 1937.

Temporary exhibitions

Twice a year, the temporary exhibition hall of 350 m2 allows the museum to shed new light on its collections, with a very broad opening on contemporary creation.

Mont de Marsan Capital of sculpture

The positioning of Mont de Marsan as “Capital of Sculpture” unfolds around two ambitious axes: the triennial “Mont de Marsan Sculptures” on the one hand, and on the other, the museum’s collection whose sculptures punctuate the entire streets, parks and city entrances.

In 1988, on an idea suggested by the artist César, Mont de Marsan innovated and oxygenated its artistic heritage by exhibiting in its streets some of the most interesting pieces of the museum. Baptized Museum in the street, the operation is a real popular success and the initiative is perpetuated: the Mont de Marsan Sculptures identity is born.

Since then, this triennial has been organized around a theme that allows visitors, for a month, to discover modern and contemporary works, borrowed from major national institutions and exhibited in heritage sites in the city.

The event is accompanied by a rich and diversified program (guided tours, activities, meetings with artists, workshops for young audiences, etc.). An unmissable event in the museum’s program and in the cultural life of Mons, Mont de Marsan Sculptures arouses strong support from the public.


The statue route

As part of a qualitative approach to mediation of the sculptural heritage in the city of Mont de Marsan, a project highlights the works placed on a city route. It responds to the need to provide information to Mons walkers curious to know more about the works but also strengthens the tourist approach for a better knowledge of the heritage assets of our city.

The installation of the works in the city is located on a vast perimeter, from the forecourt of the Mont de Marsan station to the Parc Jean Rameau, passing through the heart of the city.


Sculpted walk in the city
Chid sculpted walk

Gascony Theater

Conventional Stages of National Interest

– mention Art in the Territory –

The genesis of the project

Born in 2016 from the mutualisation of the cultural policy of the City of Mont de Marsan and its agglomeration, the Théâtre de Gascogne affirms a strong and open identity which is inspired by its territory to better promote it.

The Théâtre de Gascogne is the result of the merger of three venues. Indeed, a single entity was created in 2016, bringing together the two city theatres, the Molière and the Péglé, as well as an agglomeration theatre, the Pôle, to evolve naturally towards autonomy and an Agreement of Interest National – mention art and territory – in 2019.

By asserting itself as “a theater belonging to all and open to the widest public”, in the words of Jean Vilar, the Théâtre de Gascogne seeks, through its artistic and cultural actions, to forge links between artists , populations and territory.

The will to create a theater of territory is the bet of a richness of proximity.

It is the choice of innovation and collaborations with the aim of prolonging the action and ensuring an ever wider artistic influence. It is to do “always more together” applied to the cultural field.

The Théâtre de Gascogne is an artistic and cultural project that is divided into 5 missions, so that culture is anchored in everyone’s daily life:

creation assistance,

the development and diversification of audiences,

the promotion of a culture of partnership,

the circulation of works by itinerancy.

Crossing resources, working in a network, widening the field of partners, becoming ever more anchored in the local fabric, going outside its walls to concern spectators who are unaware of each other, striving to encourage creation and promote its craftsmen through thousand projects…

This is the ambition of the Théâtre de Gascogne, which beats to the rhythm of its territory.