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Art Directory Museums France  

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On this day in

1494 - was born the Italian mannerist painter Jacopo da Pontormo

1897- Dies the cuban writer José Martí.

1930 Director Claude Chabrol was born in Paris France

1974 - Dies the american musician Duke Ellington

Galeries nationales du Grand Palais

Built for the Universal Exhibition in 1900, the Grand Palais spans an area of 775,000 square feet in the form of an ’H’. Listed as a historic monument, it is recognisable from a distance thanks to its glass roof, the biggest in Europe. The building is managed by EPGPCE, a public body also responsible for programming the events in its main interior space, the Nave. Other facilities housed in the building include the Galeries nationales, managed by the French museum board (Réunion des musées nationaux), and the Palais de la Découverte, an interactive science museum.
© Photo : Patrick Tourneboeuf


Jeu de Paume

A leading pole for the exhibition of photographic and other images whose resolutely open approach embraces all periods (from the 19th to the 21st century) and practices (photography, cinema, video, installation, etc.), Jeu de Paume produces, coproduces and hosts exhibitions as well as film programmes, symposiums, and public activities, and also pursues a publishing programme. It shows both established figures (Sophie Ristelhueber, Martin Parr, Robert Frank, Jean-Luc Moulène, Bruno Serralongue, Edward Steichen, Richard Avedon, Lee Miller, Lisette Model, André Kertész) and emerging talents (Cyprien Gaillard, Denis Savary, Virginie Yassef, Mario García Torres, Agathe Snow, Tris Vonna-Michell), attracting a considerable and varied public whose interest and support is growing steadily.


Le Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Les Arts Décoratif originated in 1882, in the wake of the Universal Exhibitions, when a group of collectors banded together with the idea of promoting the applied arts and developing links between industry and culture, design and production. The collection presents some 150,000 works, in departments organized by period or specialty: from medieval furniture to contemporary design via the 18th-century in France, the Empire, Art Nouveau and Art Deco; as well as large collections of jewelry, toys, wallpaper, gold work, ceramics, glass, drawings and an Islamic and Oriental collection.


MAC VAL - Musée d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne

The Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, nicknamed MAC/VAL, is a museum of contemporary art located in the Place de la Libération in Vitry-sur-Seine, Val-de-Marne, a suburb of Paris, France. The museum opened in 2005, and is dedicated to works of art from the 1950s to the present. Its building, designed by architect Jacques Ripault, encompasses a total of 13,000 m² floor space (including 2600 m² for permanent exhibitions, 1350 m² for temporary shows, 480 m² for its research center, and 700 m² for storerooms and workshops). It also contains an auditorium and cinema of 150 seats, and is set within 10,000 m² of public garden.


Musée Bourdelle

The Musée Bourdelle preserves the studio of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), a notable student of Auguste Rodin, and provides an example of Parisian ateliers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was Bourdelle’s active studio from 1885-1929. The museum was inaugurated in 1949. Today, the museum contains more than 500 works including marble, plaster, and bronze statues, paintings, pastels, fresco sketches, and Bourdelle’s personal collection of works by artists including Eugène Carrière, Eugène Delacroix, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Adolphe Joseph Thomas Monticelli, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, and Auguste Rodin.


Musée Cantini

The museum now houses one of the finest public collections in France of art from the period 1900-1960. The collection contains some remarkable groups of works, representative of the movements which have marked the history of modern art: Fauvism (Derain, Camoin, Matisse, Chabaud), Cubism (Dufy, Laurens, Gleizes), geometric abstraction from the 1930s (Kandinsky, Hélion, Gonzalez, Villon, Magnelli), Surrealism (Ernst, Masson, Arp, Brauner, Picabia), the post-war period and the 1950s (Fernandez, Picasso, Bryen, Hantai, Riopelle), the 1960s (Debré, Estève, Asse, Tal Coat, Ubac). Great artists such as Kokoschka, Artaud, Giacometti, Bacon, Balthus, Dubuffet, Tapies have also been the subject of some major acquisitions by the museum.


Musee cantonal des beaux-arts de Lausanne

The Lausanne's Cantonal Museum of Fine Art is the second oldest museum in Switzerland. Long focused on Vaud and Romand art, with the occasional European art through the intervention of people from Vaud living outside the canton, like Vallotton, or donations like the prestigious bequest from Dr. Widmer (Matisse, Cézanne, Renoir, Bonard, Vuillard), the museum opened up to international art in the 1960s.


Musée Cernuschi, musée des arts de l’Asie de la Ville de Paris

Financier Henri Cernuschi bequeathed to the City of Paris his townhouse skirting Parc Monceau and the handsome assortment of Far-Eastern art that he had amassed during his travels. This museum features a remarkable collection of Chinese art (Neolithic pottery, antediluvian bronzes, Buddha statues, funerary statuettes, and a stunning collection of 20th-century paintings).


Musée Cognacq-Jay

Businessman Ernest Cognacq and his wife Marie-Louise Jay gathered this museum’s collection between 1900 and 1925. The couple that had founded the Samaritaine department store spent part of the fortune they had amassed on works of art – and had a penchant for 18th-century French artists. Ernest donated this collection to the City of Paris when he died in 1928. This museum’s collections include paintings and sculptures by leading lights (Lemoyne, Chardin and Fragonard) side by side with those of lesser-known masters (Lavreince and Saly). The woodwork, furniture and decorative art encapsulate something about elegant society’s lifestyle in that day.


Musée d'Art Contemporain de Lyon

Designed by Renzo Piano, the 2,600 m2 building combines a façade dating from the 30s (the former Palais de la Foire de Lyon) with the modernity of a volume built in red brick.


Musée d'art contemporain de Marseille

The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts both permanent and temporary exhibitions in an area of 4000m2. Housed in a building constructed in the 1970s and donated to the city of Marseille by Dr Rau, the Musée d’art contemporain de Marseille opened for the first time on Saturday 28 May 1994. The collection, built around a number of different artistic movements (New Realism, Fluxus, Arte Povera, Support Surface, etc.) contains works from the 1960s to the present day.


Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

In Palais de Tokyo, a palace built for the 1937 International Exposition, and turned into a modern-art museum in 1961. The 8,000+ works in its collection span the sundry trends in 20th-century art. It hosts retrospectives zooming in on the prominent movements and artists that populated the 20th-century artistic scene, and more focused exhibitions showcasing the main trends shaping art today


Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain

From its opening in 1998, this museum of modern art equally fascinates artists and the art lovers from around the world. The museum has a really rich permanent collection of modern art work (Gustave Doré, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Vassily Kandinsky) and it frequently displays actual art productions.


Musée d'Orsay

This former train station now houses French paintings, sculptures and furniture dating back to the years 1848 to 1914. Works by the leading Impressionists (Monet, Renoir, etc.), and canvases by Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne are a few of the attractions that make this museum one of the top must-sees in Paris


Musée de la Mode et du Textile

86,000 items of costume, accessories and textiles which trace the development of costume from the Copts to the present day and the development of new textiles since the 14th century. Complemented by a permanent loan from Ufac (Union française des Arts du costume), numbering over 45,000 costumes and accessories


Musée de l’Orangerie

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. Closed for renovation work since January 2000, completely reviewed and restructured, the museum was reopened to the public in May 2006.


Musée départemental Georges de La Tour

Georges de La Tour was born in Vic-sur-Seille in 1593, and was the greatest 17th-century painter in Lorraine. The museum houses historical collections linked to Vic-sur-Seille, as well as a collection of about a hundred paintings focusing on Georges de La Tour and on French humanist painting from the first half of the 17th century to the 19th century.


Musée des Arts Decoratifs - Palais Rohan

Museum of decorative arts is situated in Palais Rohan, palace that was designed by the royal architect Robert de Cotte in 18th century. The museum is divided into two parts – one is representing the apartments of cardinal Rohan and the other offers a rich collection of decorative artifacts dating from 16th century, found in Strasbourg.


Musée des Beaux-Arts - Palais Rohan

Situated on the first floor of Palais Rohan, the Museum of Fine arts presents wide range of European paintings from famous artists such as Boticelli, Greco, Rubens, Canalleto, Goya, Delacroix and many more.


Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon

Standing at the heart of Lyon’s historical district, which is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon is one of Europe’s leading museums. The rooms of this former 17th century royal Benedictine abbey are arranged around a shaded cloister, today a public garden. The collections illustrate key areas in the history of art, from Ancient Egypt to modern art. Important temporary exhibitions as well as a rich and varied cultural program make this a living and dynamic museum. The 70 galleries used for permanent exhibition display the museum’s collections of antiquities, art objects, coins and medals, sculpture, painting, and graphic art


Musée du Louvre

Open since 1793, the Musée du Louvre houses 35.000 works of art drawn from eight departments, from ancient art to the XIX century, displayed in over 60,000 square meters of exhibition space dedicated to the permanent collections. Highlights:  Leonardo da Vinci's Gioconda, Alexandros of Antioch's Venus de Milo and the  Nike di Samotracia


Musée du Luxembourg

The museum’s exhibition program alternates between two major themes:
The Renaissance, in honor of Marie de Médicis  and modern art, to evoke the museum’s golden age between 1887 and 1937.


Musée du Quai Branly

A Primitive Art museum at the foot of the Eiffel tower, featuring collections from Australasia, the Americas, Africa and Asia, and exhibitions, screenings and workshops for kids.


Musée Granet

Situated in the old "Prieuré des chevaliers de Malte", where the essential part of the collection of François Marius Granet the famous aixois painter (1775-1849) is presented. The most important paintings are from XVIth century. Paintings from Dutch, Flemish and Italian schools. Paintings from the Provençal school from XIXth century, 8 Cézanne’s paintings, 7 archeological rooms, Oppidum vestiges from the celtic periods, statues, fresques, mosaics from the Aquae Sextia excavations gallo-roman.


Musée Jacquemart-André

Built by Edouard André and his wife Nélie Jacquemart, both avid art collectors, in the new Paris being laid out by Baron Haussmann towards the end of the 19th century, this private mansion offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a wealthy 19th century home, with its state rooms, monumental staircase, winter garden, private apartments, reception areas and more. When Edouard André was forming his collection of 18th century French paintings, the period was staging a comeback and collectors everywhere felt they had to include some in their collection. Edouard André demonstrated sure judgement and enlightened taste, as he built up an extensive collection of asterpieces by the likes of Nattier, Vigée-Lebrun, Fragonard or David.


Musée Maillol - Fondation Dina Vierny

The Maillol museum exhibits many large collections of modern art put together by Dina Vierny whose range and diversity cut a wide swathe through the art of the 20th century:
of modern primitives such as  Douanier Rousseau, Bauchant, Bombois, Rimbert, Séraphine, Vivin, Racoff, Peyronnet, Desnos which are regularly exhibited in various group shows. There is also a drawing cabinet made up of works by Degas, Picasso, Suzanne Valadon, Foujita, which enlarges the scope of the rooms of drawings devoted to Henri Matisse and Raoul Dufy. Conceptual art appears first in the Marcel Duchamp room and also there are Russian painters like Eric Bulatov, Oscar Rabine and Vladimir Yankilevsky.


Musée Marmottan Monet

This mansion decorated with sculptures and furnitures from the Napoleonic era has become the hub of Impressionism. It contains the world’s largest and most important collection of paintings by Claude MONET, notably the famous "Impression Soleil levant", and also many paintings of his friends such as Boudin, Gaugin, Morisot, Pisarro and Sisley. The museum’s many treasures have also been enriched by the Wildenstein donation, one of Europe’s most outstanding groups of illuminated manuscripts from the 12th. to the 15th. century.


Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet

The Musée Guimet was the brain-child of Emile Guimet (1836-1918), a Lyons industrialist who devised the grand project of opening a museum devoted to the religions of Ancient Egypt, Classical Antiquity, and Asia. Guimet visited Egypt and Greece before traveling around the world in 1876, stopping off in Japan, China and India. In the course of his travels he acquired extensive collections of objects which he put on display in a museum opened in Lyon in 1879. These collections were subsequently transferred to a new museum which he had built in Paris and which was inaugurated ten years later, in 1889. During Emile Guimet’s own lifetime, the museum, while maintaining a section devoted to the religions of Ancient Egypt, increasingly focused on Asian civilizations.


Musée National Picasso Paris

The Musée Picasso is an art gallery located in the Hôtel Salé in rue de Thorigny, in the Marais district of Paris. The hôtel particulier that houses the collection was built between 1656 and 1659 for Pierre Aubert, seigneur de Fontenay. The architect was Jean Boullier from Bourges, also known as Boullier de Bourges; sculpture was carried out by the brothers Gaspard and Balthazard Marsy and by Martin Desjardins. It is considered to be one of the finest historic houses in the Marais.


Musée Tomi Ungerer - Cente International de l'Illustration

The centre features a permanent exhibition of the graphical works of Tomi Ungerer,  cartoonist and illustrator born in Strasbourg in 1931, presenting visitors with a theme-based visit comprising approximately 250 original works, a collection which will be periodically updated.


Musée Zadkine

Ossip Zadkine, a Russian artist who emigrated to Paris in 1908, lived and worked here from 1928 to his death in 1967. The collection features more than 400 sculptures and roughly that many paintings, gouaches, drawings and photos documenting and spanning every period in this sculptor’s life and work. This museum regularly takes in guest artists to confront Zadkine’s work with contemporary movements.


Petit Palais

A fully-refurbished venue brimming with 1900 modernity and a new collection layout drenched in light – and a gorgeous winter garden featuring mosaic-trimmed ponds and colonnades, opening out onto a café and restaurant


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