About the House
Located in the village of Ménerbes, in one of the most beautiful regions of Southern France, this 18th-century town house was purchased in 1944 by Pablo Picasso for Dora Maar, the artist and Surrealist photographer who was his companion and muse in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Maar (1907–1997) owned the house until her death, after which a resident of both Houston and Ménerbes bought and renovated the house to transform it into a retreat for writers, scholars, and artists.
In 2006, the MFAH was asked to direct this project, now called the Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House. Amenities include four private bedrooms, each with a private bath; three studies for writers and scholars; a studio for artists; and a piano. Residents share the kitchen, library, living, and dining rooms, and two garden areas. The house is equipped with high-speed wireless Internet access, laptops, a printer, and a fax machine.
The village of Ménerbes holds the official classification as one of “the prettiest villages of France.” Nostradamus claimed that Ménerbes, which sits on a narrow spine of a hilltop, looked like a ship in an ocean of vineyards. For its small size of about 1,200 residents, the village offers a surprisingly lively slate of cultural activities, restaurants, shops, galleries, hotels, and cafés. Located roughly 50 kilometers from Marseille International Airport and 40 kilometers from Avignon, with TGV fast-train connections to Paris, the Dora Maar House has easy access to larger cities and cultural centers.