Organized in three chronologically successive stages from the early 20th century until after the Second World War, the selection offers an overview of the major artistic movements of the period. The exhibition opens with works typical of the main figures of Fauvism (André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Emile Othon Friesz) and Cubism (Robert Delaunay, Georges Braque, Albert Gleizes, Natalia Goncharova, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger), whose boldness and freedom stood representation on its head, along with the traditional perception of landscape, the figure and the still life. The second section looks to a generation of artists from all over the world who, attracted by the artistic effervescence of the French Capital, gave rise to the interwar "School of Paris". Among them were Marc Chagall, Chana Orloff, Chaim Soutine, Ossip Zadkine, Jules Pascin, Amadeo Modigliani, Maria Blanchard, Kees van Dongen and Léonard Foujita. The third and last room is devoted to Surrealism, so named by poet André Breton in 1924, with Paris as the historic cradle for artists like Claude Cahun, Victor Brauner, Max Ernst, Francis Picabia, Giorgio de Chirico, and Hans Arp.
Starting with its earliest choices the MAM collection reflects the importance accorded women artists by the museum and its benefactors. This selection includes works by Suzanne Valadon, Natalia Goncharova, Maria Blanchard, and Claude Cahun.