23 quai Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
Phone: 33 (0) 4 99 04 76 44
Fax: 33 (0) 4 67 18 64 01
Website: www.miam.org

Musée International Des Arts Modestes

A “modest” art object is an object taken from daily life, which has no real utility, but excites the imagination and creates aesthetic pleasure. It also involves notions of simplicity, low cost, and an absence of intellectualism. An object of modest art is generally in the form of a gift but can also be purchased for oneself, in the spirit of home decoration or simple pleasure. Souvenirs, bric a brac and decorative pieces are examples of these objects which respond to aesthetic and personal desires. Objects of modest art fall into two categories: manufactured objects and singly produced objects. In addition, objects of modern art can form part of a collection.

Modest art permits the attraction towards a ridiculous or pointless object and function, an appreciation for objects normally considered “bad taste”, and emphasises the personal relationship one has with an object rather than a critique of its intention or appearance on an intellectual level.
The MIAM presents exhibitions of contemporary art along with other marginal forms of arts.

The museum is housed in an ordinary building; its architect Patrick Bouchain describes it as “a building with nothing different from the others in Sete, with a view onto the street”. The museum was created by Hervé Di Rosa in 1990.

 Permanent Collection Highlights (6)

 Click on the images to enlarge

Permanent Collection

The International «Arts Modests» Museum aims to gather together discarded day-to-day objects in a heritage collection (scoubidou, Barbie dolls, Bonux gifts etc). But Hervé Di Rosa and Bernard Belluc have placed the thousands of items they have accumulated in settings in caravans, containers and display cases.Like an overturned toy box or a magic attic. They tell our story, acting like miniature memory prompts to make us daydream and reflect.
These exhibitions are travelling through original artistic horizons with aesthetic or sociological points of view. So, the exhibitions “Narcochic” (2004) dedicated to the narcoculture, “King size” dedicated to Elvis Presley’s myth, “Paradirama” (2005) about Polynesian exoticism through occidental Art or “Bang! Bang!” showing the importance of weapons in the society approached cultural phenomenon, while the exhibitions “Pop up” (2003) and “Les Hommes de Sucre” explored territories of creation not shown in the museums.
«Art modest» is concerned with nature and culture, painting and music, you can walk through a garden of weeds or enjoy the various musical surprises on offer.
A visit to the museum is a chance to rediscover the lost world of our childhood, but it’s not only that. It’s also the chance to realise that this «art modeste» still has the power to amaze us that it had when we were small children, that these sometimes poorly made objects have left a lasting impression on us, and that we can still be touched by the poetry that emanates from them.
The museum’s garden has been transformed by Liliana Motta, demonstrating that nature itself can be modest art. Plants and objects in abandoned ...+ [ Read all ]


Véhicules, auto, moto, vélo, train, avion et BATEAU
28 March - 31 October 2015

Previous Exhibitions

A selection of previous exhibitions, please see website for complete listings.
Mexico! Mexico! (2000)
Modest art does not belong to a single period or nation, but to all at all times. To affirm this international characteristic, the MIAM brings to light the strange creations from a Mexico.

Fait Maison (2000)
Fait Maison / Home made aims to establish parallels between modest art and normal notions of contemporary art

King Size (2001)
When Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977 in Graceland, the youthfulness of many young fans died with him. This exhibition depicts Presley as still alive in our collective memories, not only through his voice but also through the thousands of figurative representations of him that can be found from Memphis to Tel-Aviv.

Cinémodeste (2002)
For the first time in France, a hundred of movie posters painted by artists from Ghana.

Carlo Zinelli (2004)
First big retrospective of the outsider artist Carlo Zinelli, who painted thousands of works in a psychiatric hospital in Verona.

Narcochic Narcochoc (2004)
Contemporary art and narcoculture from the north of Mexico.

Paradirama (2005)
Popular art and contemporary art inspired by Polynesia: from Tiki Art to Surf Culture.

Bang! Bang! trafic d’armes de Saint-Etienne à Sète (2007)
In collaboration with the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in Saint-Etienne, this exhibition featured more than 60 international artists, along with toys and real weapons.

1000 pavois?
17 March – 3 June 2007
Le Musée International d’Art Modeste presents, in association with La Ligue de Joutes Languedociennes an exhibition of decorated shields. In Beziers, Sète,...+ [ Read all ]

Exhibitions (11)

Click on the images to enlarge



Adults 5,5€
Groups of more than 10 people 3,5€ each
10-18 year olds, students, school groups 2,5€ each
Free to under 10s, jobseekers, Sète students, and all public on the first Sunday of each month

Opening hours

October 1 - March 31 : Open daily from 10.00 to 12.00
and 14.00 to 18.00 except mondays
April 1 - September 30 :open every day from 9.30 to 19.00

Annual shutdowns: january 1, may 1, november 1 and december 25.

Getting there

From Montpellier, take the motorway A9, and the exit Balaruc, Sète, Mèze, Frontignan


La petite épicerie du MIAM (educational service of museum) offers artistic workshops for all.


Guided tours on demand


Guided tours and workshops on demand