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Paris: Museums and Galleries
Paris Museums and Galleries(1)
Centre Georges Pompidou
pl Georges Pompidou, Paris, France 75191
Metro: Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville, Châtelet
Open: from 11am to 9pm. Night opening on Thursdays until 11pm for certain exhibitions (no ticket sales after 10pm).
Entry: Museum and exhibitions : €10
(no ticket sales after 8pm, halls close at 8.50pm).
The Centre Pompidou features Parisian art from the 18th century to the present. Includes works by Matisse, Chagall, and Picasso. Housed in the centre of Paris in a building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, its supporting structure and movement and flow systems, such as the escalators, were relegated to the outside of the building. Colour-coded ducts are attached to the building's west façade, as a kind of wrapping for the structure: blue for air, green for fluids, yellow for electricity cables and red for movement and flow. Other institutions in the same complex are the National Museum of Modern Art, the Centre of Industrial Design, the Contemporary Music Institute, the Brancusi Studio.
Tip: You have to check out the penthouse restaurant, even if you don't eat there. Stunning views over Paris and decoration that's like a '70s idea of The Future of Interior Design.
Maison Européenne de la Photographie
5-7, rue de Fourcy, Paris, France 75004
Métro: Saint Paul ou Pont Marie.
Bus: 67, 69, 96 ou 76.
Open: Wed-Sun 11am-8pm
A collection of contemporary international photographs from the late 1950s to the present day. Most of the big names are here. All forms of photography, from reportage to fashion are included. Exhibitions change regularly. Located in a restored 1706 mansion, the permanent collection now features over 15,000 works, and there's a cafe in the basement.
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
11, av du Président Wilson, Paris, France 75016
Metro: léna or Alma-Marceau
Open: Tue-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6:45pm
The Musee d'Arte Moderne is housed in the Palais de Tokyo, a building specially commissioned for the the 1937 World Exhibition, along with one of the major exhibits, 'La Fée Electricite' ("Fairy of Electricity"), a huge painting by Raoul Dufy for the Light Pavilion.
Most of the major artistic styles of the twentieth are featured here, including works by Braque, Picasso, Delaunay, Leger, Roualt, Utrillo and one room entirely devoted to works by Matisse. Also art deco furniture and objets d'art, photography, textiles.
1, rue de Bellechasse, Paris, France 75007
Métro: line 12, Solférino station
RER: line C, Musée d'Orsay station
Buses: 24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, and 94
Open: Tue-Wed and Fri-Sat 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-9:45pm, Sun 9am-6pm
Originally the Gare d'Orsay, a huge (for the time) iron-and-glass railway station built in 1900, it was finally converted to an arts complex in 1986. Many visitors consider it to be the most viewer-friendly museum in the world. The museum's stated aim is "to show, in all its diversity, the artistic creation of the western world from 1848 to 1914". Besides painting, sculpture, graphic and decorative arts, the museum has also established collections of furniture, architecture and photography.
Musée du Cinema
1, pl du Trocadéro, Palais de Chaillot, Paris, France 75116
Guided tours only Wed-Sun 10am-11am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, and 5pm
Closed: Monday, Tuesday, bank holidays
A treasure trove of early cinematography technology (dating back to 1895) can be found here, next to the Cinémathèque française, both founded by Henri Langlois in the 1930s. Sixty galleries chronicle the beginnings of photography and include short films. Additional displays include dresses from "Gone with the Wind", John Wayne's hat from "Stagecoach", costumes worn by Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino ("The Sheik") and many more props from famous films, including the original robot from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis."
The conducted tour takes about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Musée du Louvre
34-36, quai du Louvre, Palais du Louvre, Paris, France 75001
Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
Open: Mon and Wed 9am-9:45pm, Thu-Sun 9am-6pm
Day €8.50, Night €6
"Open to all since 1793" and even more popular, if that were possible, since its lurid appearance in "The Da Vinci Code" (see how many people use the upstairs lavatory off the Grand Gallery!).
One of the world's largest assemblies of art and antiques (including of course, the "Mona Lisa"), the cut-off point for the Louvre's collection is 1848. The Palais du Louvre is now known primarily as a museum, but for almost seven hundred years the buildings were one of the principal residences of the kings and emperors of France. The adjacent "Jardin des Tuileries" is the largest and oldest public park in Paris and contains a sculpture collection.
Tips: (1)The entrance fee is lowered after 3pm; (2) You can skip the queues with the Museum Pass; (3) Opposite on the Rue de Rivoli, there's a building called "Le Louvre des Antiquaires" with three floors and over 250 small antique shops (website)
Prefer a Louvre guided tour? Book online here
Musée de l'Orangerie
Jardin des Tuileries,
tel.: 44 77 80 07
Métro: 1, 8, 12 Concorde station
Bus: 24, 42, 52, 72, 73, 84, 94 Concorde stop
Open: everyday except Tuesdays, 1st May and 25th December
Individual visitors: 12.30-7 p.m., 9 p.m. on Fridays
Full rate: € 6.50
Reduced rate: € 4.50
€ 1.20 surcharge for temporary exhibitions
Free entry on the first Sunday of each month
Audioguide comments on a selection of works in French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and a
version for the visually impaired:
full rate: € 4.50
reduced rate: € 3
Disabled Access: The museum is accessible to people in wheelchairs; wheelchairs may be borrowed.
Disabled persons may visit during public opening hours or may ask for a special organised visit.
The museum was
reopened to the public in May 2006 after being closed for renovation work since January 2000, and has been completely reviewed and restructured.
Six great intellectuals recently described the museum chosen and arranged by Claude Monet to showcase
his “testamentary” masterpieces as “unique in its genre”.
Next to the Nymphéas, “the haven of peaceful meditation”, a gift to modern man with his “overworked
nerves”, the Orangerie offers a fabulous concentration of masterpieces from the Jean Walter and Paul
Guillaume Collection, a highly original insight into modern art featuring Cézanne, Renoir, Picasso,
Rousseau, Matisse, Derain, Modigliani, Soutine, Utrillo and Laurencin.
158, bd Haussmann, Paris, France 75008 (400 metres from the Arc de Triomphe)
Metro: Saint-Philippe du Roule or Miromesnil
RER station: Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile
Buses: 22, 28, 43, 52, 54, 80, 83, 84, 93
Open: Daily 10am-6pm
Entry: Adult €9.50, Student and Child (7-17) €6.50
Owned by the Institut de France and housed in an incredible Second Empire mansion (there's a Tiepolo ceiling in the dining room!), this museum has a broad collection of French paintings (Nattier, Vigée-Lebrun, Fragonard, David), Dutch paintings (Rembrandt, van Dyck, Van Ruysdael), Italian Renaissance paintings (Ucello, Mantegna, Botticelli, Bellini, Capaccio) and furniture dating from the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods. Also many objets d'art from Europe and Asia.
Tip: It's worth getting the English-language audio guide which doesn't just give the usual historic and technical details of the artworks on display but also tells you about the history of the collection.
Next Page: Major Paris museums and galleries (2)