In 1919 the French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) took up residence in the medina in Marrakech (then a French protectorate) with which he fell in love.
In 1922 he purchased a palm grove just outside Marrakech and in 1931 he commissioned architect Paul Sinoir to build him an Art-deco style workshop of astonishing modernity. He set out his primary living space on the first floor and made a vast artist’s studio on the ground floor to paint his huge decorative works.
Fond of botany, he created a botanical garden around his villa structured around a long central pool, with a variety of different environments, planted with lush vegetation in which hundreds of birds nested. The garden is a living and evolving work of art made up of exotic plants and rare species that he brought back from his travels around the world: cactus, yuccas, water lilies, white water lilies, jasmines, bougainvilleas, palms, coconut trees, banana trees, bamboos... embellished with fountains, ponds, water features, ceramic jars, avenues, and pergolas...
In 1937 the artist created an ultramarine blue that was both bright and intense: known as Majorelle blue, he used it to paint the walls of his workshop, and then the entire garden transforming it into a living tableau which he opened to the public in 1947.
Following a car accident, Majorelle was repatriated to Paris where he died in 1962. The garden then fell into neglect. In 1980, Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint acquired the garden to save it from property developers and to bring it back to life.
Following the death of Yves Saint Laurent in 2008, Pierre Bergé decided to donate the Jardin Majorelle to the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent. The Garden welcomes over 600,000 visitors each year, tourists and locals alike. It is open every day of the year and employs over 70 people. On request, students enrolled in Moroccan schools can visit the Garden free of charge. The profits are used to support other projects in Morocco.
The Jardin Majorelle Foundation, founded in 2001 to protect the natural, historic and cultural heritage of the Jardin Majorelle and the museum, is an officially recognized non-profit, public institution according to decree n° 2.11.647 dated November 4, 2011. In 2010, the Jardin Majorelle became the property of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, a public institution recognized by French law.
Exhibition Yves Saint Laurent and Morocco
In 2010, the Foundation was given the Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. It hosted the exhibition Yves Saint Laurent et le Maroc from November 27, 2010 to March 18, seen by over 65,000 visitors.
House of Honor
Mr. Frédéric Mitterrand, in the presence of Mr. Pierre Bergé, placed a plaque engraved, “Maison des Illustres” (‘House of Honor’), at the gate of the Villa Oasis, where Mr. Yves Saint Laurent came and worked throughout his life.
The plaque, created in 2011 by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, seeks to “recognize dwellings rendered remarkable by their history and by those who have inhabited them.” The plaque on the Villa Oasis marks the first time that the French state has thus honored a house not on French soil.
In 2011, the first Berber Museum will open in former Majorelle workshop.
Avenue Yacoub El Mansour Rue Yves Saint Laurent
40090 Marrakech – Morocco
Access for people with disabilities
Garden : 50 DH
Museum : 25 DH
The Museum Library contains a collection of reference books on the Berber culture.