La Petite Escalère was created in the 1970s by French art dealer and collector Paul Haim. Located on the banks of the Adour River, at the border between the Landes and the Basque Country, this private sculpture garden grew out of the passion, the sensitivity and the talent of three exceptional individuals – Paul Haim, Jeannette Leroy and Gilbert Carty.
Together, the collector, the artist and the gardener “gave space” to a unique dialogue between sculpture and nature. Sixty-nine acres of forests and prairies unexpectedly nestle a collection of modern and contemporary works of art by internationally renowned artists such as Rodin, Maillol, Niki de Saint Phalle, Zao Wou-Ki, Chillida…
La Petite Escalère Today
Nearly forty years after the beginning of this adventure, Dominique Haim wished to carry on her father’s artistic and human vision and bring La Petite Escalère into the present and toward the future, turning it into a space for creation, reflection, and exchange, around and about art and landscape. With the support of the association Friends of La Petite Escalère, Dominique Haim is now writing a new chapter of the history of La Petite Escalère through a project structured around three guidelines:
- Preserve and highlight this significant cultural and natural heritage;
- Support contemporary artistic creation through programming multidisciplinary residencies, organizing contemporary art exhibitions, lectures, concerts, and conferences and through promoting cultural and artistic education in the Aquitaine region;
- Develop an innovative program focused on art, nature and health by hosting sensitive audiences, implementing pilot projects conducted by researchers, doctors and special educators, and organizing symposiums, seminars, and conferences.
Discover La Petite Escalère
Discovering La Petite Escalère is a sensitive, poetic and intimate experience, an unusual approach to the numerous ties between men’s and nature’s creations, which we are committed to preserve.
The garden is a private property and is closed to the general public most of the year, which allows us to better host more specific audiences – children, people with disabilities, patients, artists, writers, researchers, etc.
The garden and the collection are nonetheless accessible to the general public twice a year for open houses and for occasional cultural events. You can also discover and explore La Petite Escalère anytime through our publications, website and blog.