American Artists in France

Paris is a city for lovers … and artists. American artists are particularly drawn to the history and romance of Paris as an artistic mecca. Since the late 19th century American artists such as Mary Cassatt and, much later, Man Ray have succeeded in establishing their place in the French art world. This autumn the Mona Bismarck Foundation is highlighting a wide range of works produced over the last 50 years by contemporary American artists who have lived and worked in France. Continue reading “American Artists in France”

Tattoo Art Revisited

For many the word “tattoo” conjures up images of black-leather-clad bikers straddling Harley-Davidsons or sleazy waterfront saloons where drunken sailors have hearts and mermaids tattooed on their biceps. Very few people would actually consider tattooing an art form. Yet it qualifies as one of humankind’s oldest artistic expressions. Two fine current exhibits feature decorative body art. Contemporary artist Antoine Tzapoff studied Indian dance rites in Mexico, resulting in a superb series of 25 documentary paintings on view at the Maison de l’Amérique Latine. The Marquesan exhibition at the Musée de l’Homme highlights magic rites and the extraordinary nature of Marquesan tattoo designs, which cover large areas of the body. Continue reading “Tattoo Art Revisited”

Artists Studios as Museums

Paris boasts a collection of nearly 100 museums! Prestigious, world-famous institutions like the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay rank high on most people’s list of museums to visit. However, for adventurous spirits, the major museums are just an introduction to the pleasures of discovering the capital’s art treasures. The unique atmosphere of well-known artists’ studios, now open to the public as museums, can’t be beat. Eccentric private and public collections highlight just about every subject imaginable. There are superb museums devoted to the history of wine, counterfeits, locks, perfumes, musical instruments and fashion – to mention just a few. The following suggestions will take you off the beaten track to some interesting homes and studios where famous artists once lived.

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Blerancourt Franco-American Museum

Every year busloads of French school children and tourists from around the globe make the day trip north from Paris to visit the clearing at Rothondes where the Armistice was signed in a railroad car at the end of World War I. All along the road, just an hour from Paris, an impressive number of medieval churches, monasteries and graceful châteaux dot the rolling hills of Picardy. A few miles from the famous clearing, the Museum of Franco-American Cooperation celebrates friendship between the two nations. Housed in the 17th-century château of Blérancourt, the museum’s art collection, special exhibitions and extensive documentation trace more than 200 years of Franco-American relations.

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