Joseph-Ignace de Villeneuve-Martignan, elected to Avignon Town Council in 1735 when he was only twenty-two years of age, had decided the previous year to convert his old family home, enlisting the architect Thomas Lainée to carry out the initial work. De Villeneuve-Martignan became the first consul of Avignon in 1738. Three years later he hired the architect Jean-Baptiste Franque and his son François to build a mansion, which is still the finest manor house in Avignon. He bankrupted himself, however, and was forced to stop the work in 1754 and rent out the ground floor of the house. The building subsequently passed from hand to hand and underwent conversions after the French Revolution and by successive owners until 1833, when it was acquired by the town of Avignon to house Musée Calvet, which had outgrown the former convent of St Martial. The collections in the Musée Calvet cover archaeology, decorative art, ethnography and fine art (objets d’art, drawings, sculpture and 16th to 20th century painting). Modern art is represented in the Victor Martin Room that opened in May 2010. The entire collection (with the exception of loans) belongs to the Fondation Calvet Public Agency.