There is always a lot going on in Paris and that includes all the Paris museums. Their calendars reveal an exciting lineup of new exhibitions at musées in every corner of the city — the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Quai Branly, Petit Palais — even the Picasso Museum. Let's take a look, museum by museum.
When the most popular museum in the world announces its new exhibitions art lovers sit up and pay attention. Even with lockdown and other difficulties, curators were busy planning interesting new exhibitions.
Discover the elegant and accomplished art of the painters who were active in Lisbon in the first half of the 16th century.
Seventy years after the last retrospective (at the Muséée de l'Orangerie), still life once again takes centre stage, this time at the Louvre. The exhibition brings together 170 works on loan from more the world’s most prestigious institutions and private collections. The still lifes are arranged into thematic groups representing all artistic media — painting, video, sculpture, photography and cinema.
The Louvre's Greatest Masterpieces
Louvre Private Tour with Reserved Entry
Once a Belle Epoque train station, in 1986 Musée d'Orsay was transformed into the world's greatest museum dedicated to Impressionism and 19th century art. A few years ago the museum was given a facelift with a nifty reshuffling of the paintings and a new paint job to better highlight the artwork. (White walls are so 20th century.)
In collaboration with the Munch Museum in Oslo, the Musée d'Orsay is dedicating an exhibition to the famous Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944).
To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), the Musée des Beaux-Arts in her hometown of Bordeaux and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris are organizing a major retrospective of her paintings.
Edouard Manet (1832-1883) and Edgar Degas (1834-1917) were both key players in the art world of the late 1800s. This exhibition showcases the two painters and highlights their similarities and differences.
The Louvre's Greatest Masterpieces
It's been over five decades since the opening of the Pompidou in 1970 and for 2022 the modern art hits just keep on coming with fascinating exhibits for modern museum goers. Visit as much as you can in 2022 and 2023, before the museum closes for yet another renovation slated to last three years. (In the world of Paris museum renovations, three years usually means five!)
Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone (born 1947) is known for his large scale sculptures of trees, but he has always kept a pencil and paper nearby for his drawings. This exhibition presents over 200 of his drawings donated by Penone to the Pompidou, along with six sculptures.
"Do not visit the colonial exhibition!" This was the reaction of the Surrealist group of artists when denouncing the 1931 International Colonial Exhibition. (The title means something like "unframing the colonial exhibition"… we think!) The current show will return to that rather unpleasant chapter of French history, which degraded cultures by referring to them as "elsewhere">
Newsweek named Marclay one of the ten most important artists working today. His early work explored the connections between sound, noise, photography, video, and film. He pioneered the use of gramophone records and turntables to create unique sound collages. Marclay's later work extends to all the visual arts — photographs, prints, paintings, and films.
A Day in the Champagne Region, with Hotel Pick-up & Lunch
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Dedicated to the study of mankind and the world, Musée du Quai Branly showcases world cultures — African, Asian, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum is relatively new to the landscape of Paris museums, opening in 2006. It's very close to the Eiffel Tower.
Architect Jean Nouvel gets around. After he designed the controversial Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris, he went onto to create Musée du Quai Branly. The museum is a jumble of forms that also features tranquil gardens with a natural aesthetic — no formal French gardens, no lawns, no lavish entrance staircase. Instead, the garden is a series of small landscapes with native French plants.
This exhibition is all about lullabies heard through the ages and across continents. This one may be a sleeper hit.
If there's one event that captures New Orleans it's the Mardi Gras Carnival with floats, brass bands, and lots of street dancing. Part of the scene, and tracing their roots to the French colonial era, are the Mardi Gras Indians (also known as Black Masking Indians) who parade in magnificent Native American costumes adorned with pearls, sequins, and feathers. The exhibition is organized with the Louisiana State Museum.
It took Roger Boulay, a museum curator, more than two decades to document 3,000 sketches and watercolors of the Kanak people. In case you've forgotten your cultural geography, the Kanak are the indigenous people of New Caledonia, a southwest Pacific island territory still governed by France. The Kanak speak more than twenty distinct languages with eleven dialects including Creole, and use French as their common language. This is a must-see exhibition!
Kimono literally means "what is worn". The gown embodies Japanese culture and sensibility. It was during the Edo era (1603-1868) that the kimono became the traditional dress, worn by all Japanese, regardless of their social status or gender. This exhibition, conceived at Victoria and Albert Museum, examines the kimono across centuries and continents.
A portrait of the writer, poet and statesman Léopold Sédar Senghor (1909-2001) following the independence of Senegal. (If his name rings a bell it may be because the pedestrian bridge in front of Musée d'Orsay is named for him.)
Immerse yourself in 19th-century photography. See treasures from the museum's photographic collections, many revealed for the first time.
This exhibition brings together hundreds of artworks by hundreds of Aboriginal artists.
In 1946, American artist Anne Eisner (1911-1967) traveled to Africa for the first time. She stayed for seven years, documenting the daily lives of the Mbuti pygmy people in the Belgian Congo.
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If you're in the mood for a small museum, make your way to the impossibly adorable Petit Palais, found directly across the street from big brother, the Grand Palais on Avenue Winston Churchill in the 8th Arrondissement (easy walking distance from Place de la Concorde). Built for the 1900 Universal Expo, the Petit Palais is now the home to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Paris, the city's fine arts museum. There's a pretty interior courtyard and a cafe to relax in before or after viewing the museum. We always stop in when we're in the area, especially since it's free!
A retrospective of the work of Belle Époque artist André Devambez. An artistic jack of all trades, Devambez was a painter, an engraver and and illustrator at the same time, producing work oscillating between serious and light subjects.
A major retrospective dedicated to the English painter Walter Sickert. Sickert painted subjects considered too audacious for this time, such as music hall scenes and de-eroticized nudes.
The Food & Wine of the Marais
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The Musée Picasso is a jewel set in the Marais, set in the historic and grand Hotel Salé. There are over 5,000 works that cover Picasso's paintings, sculptures, engravings, drawings, studies, drafts, notebooks, etchings and letters. If you are a Picasso fan, this is a must-see destination in Paris.
The exhibition celebrates nine masterpieces by Picasso — six paintings, two sculptures, and a sketchbook — recently donated to the French national collections by his daughter Maya Ruiz. Born in 1935, Maya is still alive and living in France.
It's simply about Picasso in front of the camera. See art films, archives, and documentaries shot during his lifetime, presenting facets of Picasso's personal and artistic life.
Tucked into the Jardin des Tuileries right at the Place de la Concorde, the 1852 stone structure facing the Seine was once the greenhouse that helped to nurture orange trees for the garden. (There's also an orangerie in the Jardin du Luxembourg, and it's still used to store plants during the winter.) Now, it's home to Monet's stellar waterlily murals. But, the Orangerie Museum has more artistic surprises in store, including this year's exhibitions.
Born in Paris, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants, Szafran (1934-2019) barely survived the Nazi camp of Drancy. In the 1950s he became an abstract artist and discovered his love of pastel. In 1993, he received the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris.
Influenced by the masters, André Derain (1880-1954) turned to more classical painting after World War I. His landscapes capture the intense light of Provence. Hence, "Southern Landscapes".
VIP Dinner Cruise with Bateaux Parisiens
Bateaux Mouches Dinner Cruise with Live Music
If you love Claude Monet and the Impressionists you won't want to miss Musée Marmottan-Monet in the 16th Arrondissement. (Its name is a clue!) Set at the foot of charming Parc Ranlegh in the posh neighborhood of Passy, this museum contains the largest collection of Monet paintings in the world. Claude's son Michel left his father's art to the state of France at the time of his death in 1966, including the iconic Impression: Sunrise, the painting that gave the movement its name.
2022 marks the 150th anniversary of Claude Monet's Impression: Soleil Levant (Impression: Sunrise), the centerpiece of Musée Marmottan-Monet's collection. This exhibition will trace the depiction of the sun in art in more than sixty works.
After a renovation five years in the making, with a €58 million total budget, Musée Carnavalet reopened just as the 2021 lockdown first eased in Paris. The once-rambling museum of the history of the city of Paris has been modernized under the guiding hand of François Châtillon, chief architect for France's historical monuments.
The whole place has been updated with ramps and lifts and a couple of swooping spiral staircases. Some of the paintings, sculptures, and posters have been lowered so kids can see them as well. New digital displays have also been created. As a City of Paris museum, entrance to the permanent collection is free with a small admission charged for certain temporary exhibitions.
"Women of Paris!" This historical exhibition takes you on a journey in search of traces of women's struggles for emancipation from the French Revolution to the achievement of parity in politics,
Once you've spent time at the big museums of Paris, you may want to get off the tourist track to take in one of the most relaxing, charming, and romantic museums in Paris. Visit the website for exhibition updates.
In a 17th-century townhouse on classic Place des Vosges is the Paris home of novelist Victor Hugo, now a museum of his life and work. La Maison has recently been renovated and now sports added space, restored treasures, and new acquisitions. The upgrades also include a tea room and a small garden to relax in. Definitely a treasure among the small museums of Paris. Visit the website for exhibition updates…
Opened in 2018, Atelier des Lumières is the first all-digital art museum in Paris. The modern-age cultural center has been created inside a former iron foundry dating back to the early 19th century. Past shows have featured painters like Klimt, van Gogh, Renoir, and Chagall.
Discover Cezanne's inner torment, the power of his compositions, his approach to light and color, and his link to nature, his greatest source of inspiration.
Plunge into the world of Vassily Kandinsky's memories, Russian folklore, and explosive modern art. Kandinsky (1866-1944) is credited with being one of the pioneers of abstraction.
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