Henri Rousseau… Paradise & Jungles

Le douanier Rousseau

Paris’ Musée d’Orsay tributes legendary French 19th century painter Henri Rousseau with an exhibition “Le Douanier Rousseau, L’Innocence Archaique” placing him in the context of his times (to July 17, 2016).  Rousseau, (1844-1910) famed for his dreamlike atmospheres, enchanted landscapes and jungle scenes, was an important figure in art during the late 19th century and the early days of Modernism. He is still hard to categorize. Was he an inspired self-taught Naif or a harbinger of Modern Art? Maybe both.
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Paris’ Museum Night 2016

The Nuit des Musées is a chance to go museum hopping in Paris for free (until midnight May 21). The aim of the event, organized by the French Ministry of Culture, is to encourage people to get out and see some art. No excuses! In addition to art exhibitions the evening includes workshops, concerts, installations and performances.
Most of the city’s museums will be participating including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Arts and Metiers Museum, Palais de la Découverte and Decorative Arts Museum. For the biggies be prepared to stand in long lines. The “Nuit” takes place in thirty cities around Europe. Last year, over 1300 museums in France participated in the European Museum Night, and over 2 million people attended throughout Europe.

In addition to Nuit des Musées future fests organized by Paris include the Fête de la Musique celebrating the start of summer (June 21st) , Heritage Days in September, Paris Summer Quarter Fest, which starts July 14th and Bastille Day’s Night street dances July 13-14.

The Spectacular Second Empire

A major exhibition—”Spectaculaire Second Empire, 1852-1870″— at the Musee d’Orsay celebrates the museum’s 30th anniversary (to January 15, 2017). It revisits a time when France was at its zenith with paintings, sculptures, photographs, architectural drawings, objets d’art and jewels depicting a brilliant era rich in contradictions.

The Second French Empire corresponds with the reign of Emperor Napoleon III (1852-1870)). Paris was the largest city in continental Europe and the center for finance, fashion and the arts. Beginning in 1853 Napoleon III and his prefect Georges-Eugene Haussaman, over the course of seventeen years, completely rebuilt the heart of the city, creating new boulevards its famous parks and train stations, giving the city its present appearance. In addition, Napoleon III completed the Louvre, built five new theaters and commissioned the Palais Garnier Paris Opera. Continue reading “The Spectacular Second Empire”

American Painting in the 1930’s

Grant Wood : America Gothic (1930) The Art Institute of Chicago

After its debut at the Art Institute of Chicago the exhibition “American Painting in the 1930’s” comes to Paris’ Musee Orangerie. The exhibition includes the iconic Grant Wood’s  “American Gothic” along with lesser-known work produced during “an age of anxiety.”  It is the first time that “American Gothic” (now in the Art Institute of Chicago) has been exhibited in Europe (to January 30, 2017) Continue reading “American Painting in the 1930’s”

Paris’ Free Museums

Louvre Pyramide

With over 30 million visitors a year, Paris is the world’s most visited city. Among its many attractions are its 153 museums, which showcase an incredibly diverse collection of art from all around the world. In a bid to widen accessibility to this impressive cultural heritage, the city of Paris has allowed free admission to 11 of its museums’ permanent collections. From modern art and antiquity, to literary works, these 11 museums are a brilliant, free access point into a city brimming with culture and the arts: Continue reading “Paris’ Free Museums”