Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Paris Museums

It's cram time.  Down to the wire.  Now that my departure date from Paris looms in the distance, it's time to pack in as much Paris as I can.  I feel pretty complete on seeing all the big boys in Paris, but it didn't hurt to stop in for a few special exhibits recently.

Musee D'Orsay
Oh how I'll miss this museum.  Its unparalleled Impressionist collection is like none I'll ever see again out of this country.  Put that in a spectacular old train station and you had me at Musee.

Then they had to up the ante and include a special exhibit on "Impressionism and Fashion." It was interesting to see how the colors, fabrics and textures influenced the city's designers, architects, and impressionists.  Not only that, but the exhibit was arranged with such flair.  There were bright red theatre chair backdrops and outdoor grassy green sets to add depth and variety to an already visually stimulating display.

Hotel de Ville:  Paris Vu
There's always an interesting exhibit at Hotel de Ville, and it's usually free and fabulous, so bonuses all the way around.  Paris Vu par Hollywood, or Paris Seen by Hollywood is a look at how Paris is seen on the big screen.  Over 800 films have been set or shot in Paris - more than any other city in the world, which is a consoling thought when I'm in need of some Paris time in LA.  Some of the best clips of these movies played across one of the large walls in the main room and then you could wander and look at movie posters, costumes and other sound bites playing on smaller screens.  All they needed was popcorn.

Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, An American in Paris, 1951. Mairie de Paris.

Then I visited a few new places that I've had on my list, but had never gotten around to seeing.

Musee du Quai Branly
I'd been putting this museum off for no other reason than it didn't contain French art.  Basically, it contains everything but. 

It showcases non-European cultures and displays them by country so you walk through Asia, then Africa, the Americas and Oceania.  There's art, sculpture, costumes, masks and frescoes.

I also visited during a special exhibit on hair.  Yes, hair.  There's more to hair than meets the eye.  They showed the relationship between hair and social status, how it is used in different ways in different cultures and even as a trophy in war.  If I won something along those lines, I think I'd tell them to hold that hair prize.

Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature
This one was perfect for me to visit, having just returned from safari. 

Now I could inspect the animals up close at this perhaps all too authentic hunting museum where something's might have been a bit too lifelike.  I'm not even talking about the noises that would be piped into certain rooms. 


And I was there pretty much alone.  Luckily there was plenty of weaponry around if necessary.

The museum does dive deeper into exploring man's relationship with animals and nature and gives you a few things to ponder, especially as you enter the floor that pertains to eating.  I tried to figure this one out, but basketball playing alligators with police lights blaring and lions looking on was a toughie.  I don't want to give it away, so I'll leave you to think on it during your next game of hoops.

There's still much to see, but I'm off to get in the full holiday spirit at the Christmas Markets up north.  Until then....

1 comment:

  1. Great museum choices. While the Louvre clearly owns the lion's share of historically significant art, there are so many other museums that are equally enjoyable.