4 March 2003 - 3 May 2003
Pavillon du musée Fabre, Montpellier
While the Musée Fabre experiences a process of profound renewal, on the threshold of important new horizons, the Jean-Pierre Rouayroux bequest continues a proud Montpellier tradition of generous patronage. The gift will also enable the comprehensive restoration and refurbishment of the Hôtel Sabatier d'Espeyran, where the collection will ultimately be housed, and in the long term, the creation in Montpellier of a museum of decorative arts incorporating the ceramics collections of the Musée Fabre, and furniture and works of art bequeathed in 1967. A native of the Minervois region, Jean-Pierre Rouayroux studied art history at Montpellier's Paul Valéry university from 1972-74, together with another southerner destined for a brilliant career: the couture fashion designer Christian Lacroix. Rouayroux's frequent visits to the Musée Fabre during his student years played a key role in the development of his personal artistic taste and sensitivity. Soon afterwards, he opened an antiques shop near the Arceaux, but was advised by Marcel Puech (who began his own career in Montpellier some 50 years earlier) to open a business in Avignon. Rouayroux's remarkable collections of drawings, works of art and paintings entered the Musée Calvet in Avignon in 1986, 1995 and 2000. Jean-Pierre Rouayroux pursued a double career as a antiques dealer and art expert, and a private collector with a passion for original, rare, highly decorative objects. Jean-Pierre Rouayroux's generous, unconditional bequest of his collections to public museums reflects his cherished, lifelong ideals: the importance of giving his treasured objects a new life in the public eye, in the renovated Hôtel de Cabrières Sabatier d’Espeyran.