Le Jardin Majorelle
Jacques Majorelle (1886 – 1962), French painter and son of a well-known Art nouveau ebony carpenter, Louis Majorelle, moved to Morocco in 1917 after an invitation of the sergeant marshal Lyautey. At once, he was seduced by the city of Marrakech: the sparkling colors of the streets, the spiced scent of the typical food and the murmuring of the people in the market.
In 1923, Jacques Majorelle bought a huge Villa, painted everything in blue, now known as the Blue Majorelle, by the French architect Paul Sinoir.
From 1947, Jacques Majorelle opened his garden to the public and everybody was astonished by the magnificent place. In 1962, after his death, nobody took care of it and the Villa was completely abandoned.
Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé
In 1980 Yves Saint Laurent and the love of his life Pierre Bergè bought the Villa for spending some good times in Marrakech, far from the chaotic city of Paris, where they used to live and work together. They restored the place, enlarging the native vegetation with more palms, trees and cactus. It was supposed to be their peaceful oasi, their secret place for freely loving each other and for spending some time with their friends. But things did not go in the right way. In Marrakech, Yves Saint Laurent completely lost his control: with drugs abuse, alcohol addiction and sex.
After his death in 2008, Pierre Bergé bought also the Jardin Majorelle and from that moment, the Jardin Majorelle became the Foundation of Yves Saint Laurent.
The Foundation of Yves Saint Laurent
The foundation is a Moroccan public institution, that guarantees the safety and the functioning use of the Jardin Majorelle thanks to its own resources. All the donations and charities are entirely focused on financing the cultural, educational and social actions in Morocco, such as:
- Private meetings about botanic, literature and traveling exhibitions;
- Funding for cultural and educational institutions in Morocco, like la Foundation Tenor pour la Culture, la Cinematheque de Tanger, l’Ecole supérieure des arts visuals de Marrakech;
- Scholarships for Moroccan students;
- Economical supports for the social activities in Morocco.
Inside the Villa, visitors can also find the museum of Love, a library, a restaurant bar and a boutique. The museum of Love is a gallery full of sketches drawn by Yves Saint Laurent that he used to send to his friends and his clients like greetings for New Years’ Eve.
In 2005, the Jardin Majorelle counted 93 employees, 683 000 visitors of the foundation.