Musée des Arts et Métiers

Arts et Metiers is a museum that doesn’t usually make it on the Paris visitor’s must-see list. But for anyone with even a passing interest in technology and design, it’s a rare treat. The permanent collections are vast and beautifully presented. (Our favorite part is the multi-level installation on the evolution of the automobile in the jewel-like chapel).

For more about the arts in Paris, visit Paris Muse,
offering private museum tours for the creative traveler.

60, rue Reamur, 3eme
Metro: Arts et Metiers

Carrousel du Louvre

The Carrousel du Louvre is the shopping mall in the Louvre, mere steps away from the Tuillerie gardens. Large displays of art for sale are here, with organized fashion shows from time to time. A wonderful place to absorb the ever-changing Parisian art scene when visiting town, and the Louvre.

The Boutiques of the Carrousel du Louvre are near the Metro stops Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre and the Tuileries. Open daily except Sundays. Parking is available.

99, rue de Rivoli
Paris 75001

Manet & Velazquez:. The Spanish Manner in the Nineteenth Century

Now showing until January 5th, 2003 at the Musée d’Orsay

If you love art for the good old-fashioned pleasure of seeing paint beautifully applied to a canvas, then this is the show for you. The curatorial goal is to demonstrate the influence of 17thc Spanish artists—Velazquez, Goya and Zurburan—on 19thc French artists like Manet, Delacroix, and Courbet. But in order to make that convincing case, the curators also happened to assemble an extraordinarily gorgeous group of paintings. Half of these hail from what is referred to as the “Golden Age” of Spanish painting, and the other half from a time when the French avant-garde never looked better.

Some visitors to “Spanish Manner” may find that Baroque manner a bit heavy on the religion. But even a modern agnostic has to be moved by the Spanish masters’ sublime use of shadows and light. Manet certainly was; he considered Velazquez in particular to be “the painter of painters.” As you can see for yourself in the major collection of Manets assembled here, the Frenchman studied the subtleties of the Spaniard’s spare, dramatic effects quite closely.

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The Louvre

No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to one of the most magnificent museums in the world. It’s timeless elegance encases some real jewels, including the Mona Lisa, several Michaelangelos, the Venus di Milo, and so many more.

Once the palace to kings and emperors, the Louvre shelters some of the great art works of the world. The collections focus on sculptures and paintings from the European masters, as well as ancient Egyptian, Greek and Islamic art. They’ve also restored some of Napoleon III’s apartments complete with original furnishings which convey what it was like to live in the Louvre when it was a royal palace.

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Musée National d’Art Moderne

The Musée National d’Art Moderne (National Modern Art Museum), located in the colorful Pompidou Center is a glowing tribute to 20th Century art. Occupying the fourth and fifth levels in the modernist/industrialist Pompidou Center, the museum contains one of the best collections of modern art in the world.

Forty galleries display works from the modern collection which spans from 1905 until 1960 and covers Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, the Paris School, and American modern art. Some galleries are dedicated to individual artists, others to various themes.

All the great modern artists are represented with prime works including Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Rene Magritte, Piet Mondrian, Vassily Kandinsky, Juan Mirò and Paul Matisse.

Another floor highlights various exhibits of modern art post 1960. These include the wonderfully campy Pop Art from Andy Warhol and psychedelic Op Art from Vasarely. New Realism and Kinetic Art are also displayed here.

This museum is a must see on your next trip to Paris! The Pompidou Center is a major entertainment destination and contains an excellent public library too!

Museum Pass

If you’re planning on visiting more than one museum in a few days you might want to get the Museum Pass (Carte Musée et Monuments), which not only offers a discount, but let’s you avoid the invariably long queues outside the major museums. It’s good at 70 different museums and monuments.

The cost depends upon how many days you need.
1 day = €13
3 day = €25.20
5 day = €39

The pass doesn’t include special exhibitions, which have an extra charge.

Tickets can be purchased at:
participating museums and monuments
major metro stations
Paris Tourist Bureau
FNAC tickets counters
Or when you buy a railpass in your home country

More info at:

Espace Dalí

On the top of the “Butte” of Montmartre right around the corner from the Place Du Tertre, is the Espace Dalí. Here reside 300 original art works by the master of surrealism, Salvador Dalí, including sculptures, prints, paintings, book illustrations, furniture and more.

The dimly lit halls echo with trance enducing music as subtly changing lighting reveals new perspectives on Dalí’s show. Most of the works were new to me, even though I’ve followed Dalí for decades and seen most of his famous pieces.

Fascinating book illustrations for such tomes as Alice in Wonderland and Don Quixote allowed Dalí to add his surrealist touches to well known fictional characters. A series of large, bright, colorful prints from the 60s done in a sort of Warhol style depict all sorts of sexual delights, perversions and frustrations. That and the outrageous collection of sculptures and his tripped out furniture steal the show.

For those who relish delving into Dalí’s mind and symbolism, there’s English and French descriptions that explain those existential symbols so central to all Dalí’s art. With these keys you can then unlock a deeper understanding of his work and his life. Dismissed as an egotist by some, hailed as the greatest master of surrealism by others, visit this exhibit and you can judge for yourself.

I thought the 7 Euro admission was a bit steep seeing how the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay charge about the same. But where else can you see such a collection in one place, other than perhaps Dalí’s castle in Spain. It’s a great place to dive into should the weather turn as it did when we we were visiting Sacre Coeur.

The gift shop has some interesting items including books, ties, puzzles, prints and for those with deep pockets you can even purchase some original pieces including some of the furniture and sculptures on display!

Location: 11 Rue Poulbot
75018 Paris
Metro: Anvers – Abbesses
Bus: 54, 80 Montmatrobus
Funicular from Anvers
Le Petit Train de Montmartre
Phone: 01 42 64 40 10
Fax: 01 42 64 93 17
Open: 10:00am – 6:30pm (summer til 9pm)