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Looking for ART in Fez

San Francisco
Level Contributor
1 post
18 reviews
Looking for ART in Fez

Hello-

Going to Fez in 1 week! We hope to buy wonderful art. Glass, furniture, crafts. Any recommendations out there??

Thanks!

Amy

Spain
Destination Expert
for Fes
Level Contributor
1,274 posts
6 reviews
1. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

Haha, my recommendation is the whole medina, that's a good start!

Aside from items such as shelves and doors, I don't think that Fes produces great furniture, although there is one artisan who has a tiny hole-in-the-wall shop down Derb el-Rohm. As for your other ideas, you'd have to be a bit more specific about what you are looking for. Fes is famous for its ceramics and leather primarily, but it's also got lots of carpets, textiles, jewellry, "knick-knacks", etc. There are some antiques out there but the majority are reproductions, no matter what yarn the seller is spinning. "Le Mystere de Fes" is a great place to shop for high end stuff, but you will pay accordingly.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
63 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

I am interested in this thread too. What type of items does Le Mystery de Fes sell?

Spain
Destination Expert
for Fes
Level Contributor
1,274 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

Crafts in general, some antiques, many reproductions, all fairly good quality and fairly expensive (at least, by Moroccan standards). The shop itself is jaw-droppingly beautiful, worth a pass just to see the restoration of the building.

If you are looking for "art", that is, paintings and the like, the Orientalist Art Gallery in the new town has exhibits of some of the better known Moroccan painters.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
63 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

Fabulous! Do I ask around where this shop is once I get there? Is it well-known enough, or can you tell me what it is next to? Thanks---will check out the gallery too.

Spain
Destination Expert
for Fes
Level Contributor
1,274 posts
6 reviews
5. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

It's well known-I believe it's in the Lonely Planet guide. Not far from the Musée Belhgazi and the Nejjarine square. There are other places like it but this one happens to be my favorite. We've bought a few antique pieces, some small art reproductions from ancient Persian texts, paintings, a mirror, and some carpets. They also have artesana from other parts of the middle eastern world, particularly Syrian woodwork.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
63 posts
26 reviews
6. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

You are correct---I have the Lonely Planet guide and it is in there. Thank you.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
91 posts
57 reviews
7. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

I was not that impressed by the handi-crafts or art in Fez. Essaouira had some fantastic visionary painters that were amazing. Their work was unique and well crafted. I also thought the hand bags, shoes and jewlry was far more interesting and original in Essaouira. I really enjoyed the strange animal sculptures made from auto parts and old tools. After leaving Essaouira and heading to Fez I kicked myself for not buying.

i had read that Fez was the place to buy and was very disappointed. The hand bag I ended up buying was shoddy and ended up smelling so bad I threw it out cuz it smelled up my hotel room in Spain.

The art in Fez was mainly camels and harem girls. Real cheezy stuff. The paintings I saw in Essaouira still haunt me! I loved them.

If you go to Essaouira looking for art the best galleries are next to eachother around the main entrance of the medina.

Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
63 posts
26 reviews
8. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

Thanks for your post, Michelle!

Spain
Destination Expert
for Fes
Level Contributor
1,274 posts
6 reviews
9. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

What a shame, you clearly didn't find the right places to shop!

It is true that there is a lot of tourist tat to wade through, but I assure you, as Essaouira does not produce much more than the thuya wood furniture and carvings it is famous for, and the budding art scene, that most of what is for sale is actually from Fes or Marrakesh. Had you visited the Orientalist gallery I mentioned previously in the Fes Ville Nouvelle, you would have seen art of a very high quality. As for your smelly bag, well, all of the leather smells, it has to do with the process in which it is tanned and dyed (too long to go into here), but there's loads of cheaper, poor quality stuff pawned off on unsuspecting tourists every day, know how to spot quality before you buy! (and that goes for pretty much everything whether it be carpets or jewellry, etc.).

In Essaouira you can find the sought after carpets of the Akhnif, Taznakht, Glaoui or Chichaoua, as these carpets come from the South, however when I last checked around this fall they were quoting ridiculous prices. Carpets are better bought in Marrakesh or Fes.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
91 posts
57 reviews
10. Re: Looking for ART in Fez

I did visit the Orientalist gallery and found the art to be a real snooze...kitchy stuff you would find in a furniture store in the USA. I was not impressed. The painters I like Essoiria, my sprelling sucks..sorry, are from the area. I know becasue I visited 3 of their studios. The painters of this area are top notch and possess a very unusual visionary style. One of my favorite paintings was a cross between chagall and picasso..tons of strange symbolism and vibrant colors. It was 350.00 euros but it was large. I cant imagin what a work like that woulkd sell for in the states.

I saw nothing in Fez to equal these painters..but this is my own taste.

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