Art Archives - Paris with Scott
New Paris Art Exhibits & Musical Highlights 2019/2020 Season

New Paris Art Exhibits & Musical Highlights 2019/2020 Season

Now that La Rentrée is complete, it is time to start trip planning in the winter and into 2020.  Here are a few highlights that begin with visual arts and exhibits.

Théâtre du Châtelet

The Théâtre du Châtelet will reopen in September after a 30-month renovation.  A sumptuous theater, but at the same time with an intimate audience space.  One tremendous idea of the co-directors is to introduce an idea that people who purchase tickets for a show buy extra tickets for those who cannot afford them.  What a refreshing idea!  Along with avant-garde theater, the Théâtre du Châtelet will perform An American in Paris from November 28, 2019 until January 1, 2020.

Léonard da Vinci Exhibit

That is correct.  The French do not call him Leonardo, rather Léonard.  Buy your tickets now for the sensational celebration of Léonard da Vinci at the Louvre.  From October 24, 2019 until February 24, 2020.  You can get priority access by becoming a Friend of the Louvre.  Add this to your trip planning as the main event.  Then, schedule other things around this once in many, many lifetimes opportunity.  I am trying to make it to see this!

Leonardo, Virgin of the Rocks.

Skip Mona – this is on the wall with no one looking at it!!!!  Next to other masterpieces by him – bonus – and people walk by with no clue.

A change at the Louvre you definitely need to know.  If you have a museum pass, you must now reserve a time to enter the Louvre.  Best advice on visiting – go when it opens or go on a Wednesday or Friday late afternoon or evening.  The Louvre is open until 9:45pm on those two days.  (You don’t want me to gush about how enchanting it is to visit the Louvre in the nighttime.)  Remember, Tuesdays, the Louvre is closed.  You can always buy timed entry tickets online as well.

Grand Palais Exhibits

Three extraordinary events are coming to the Grand Palais!

El Greco

First, we know him as El Greco, but the name of the exhibit is GRECO from October 16, 2019 – February 10, 2020. This is the FIRST retrospective in France dedicated to El Greco!!! What a bonus for Paris! From the Grand Palais’ site: “Attracted by the incredible promise of the El Escorial site, the artist brought Titian’s color, Tintoretto’s audacity, and Michelangelo’s heroic style. This eloquent combination, original yet consistent with his own way, gave El Greco (who died four years after Caravaggio) a unique place in the history of painting, as the last grandmaster of the Renaissance and the first great painter of the Golden Age.”

El Greco

Toulouse-Lautrec

Second, on October 9, 2019, the exhibition TOULOUSE-LAUTREC, Resolutely Modern opens. It is another retrospective, and the last one was in 1992. It runs until January 27, 2020. Rather than focusing on what is called, the “Montmartre Culture,” this exhibition explores his art, on its own. And, in the Grand Palais’ site, it states, “By giving too much weight to the context and folklore of the Moulin-Rouge, we have lost sight of the aesthetic, poetic ambition which Lautrec invested in what he learned, in turn, from Princeteau, Bonnat, and Cormon.” It should be fascinating.

Toulouse-Lautrec

Paris Photo

Third, and not the least by far, is Paris Photo. From November 7-10, 2019, you can see amazing art under the glass ceiling of the Grand Palais. “Paris Photo is the largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium and is held each November at the historic Grand Palais in Paris. Since 1997, the Fair’s mission is to promote and nurture photographic creation and the galleries, publishers, and artists at its source. Paris Photo brings together up to 200 exhibitors from across the world, offering collectors and enthusiasts the most diverse and qualitative presentation of photography-driven projects today. Leading galleries showcase historical and contemporary artworks from modern masters to young talents.” From https://www.parisphoto.com/en/fair/About/.

That is three events in one space to consider in your trip planning.

Jeu de Paume

Photographs by Peter Hujar are coming soon to the Jeu de Paume in an exhibition, Peter Hujar Speed of Life. In keeping with its goal of promoting mechanical and electronic imagery of the 20th and 21st centuries, it stays on the cutting edge. From October 15, 2019, until January 19, 2020, Hujar’s work will entice visitors into the beautiful building where court games were once played. The press for this exhibit describes the artist as, “In his loft studio in the East Village, Hujar focused on those who followed their creative instincts and shunned mainstream success. He made, in his words, “uncomplicated, direct photographs of complicated and difficult subjects,” immortalizing moments, individuals, and subcultures passing at the speed of life.” From the Jeu de Paume’s website. Also on view late 2019 and early 2020 are exhibits of work by Daisuke Kosugi and Zineb Sedira.

Palais de Tokyo

October 14 – RÜFÜS DU SOL.  In the Yoyo at Palais de Tokyo.  An amazing venue for this Australian group to perform!!!

Also, from October 16, 2019, until January 5, 2010, Futur, ancien, fugitif is an exhibition of contemporary works from artists of varying ages, living throughout France and other countries. None of the artist’s work is in the same medium or in the same method. All of the invited artists will answer and explore similar existential questions through their works. Like many of the other exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, this one sounds like it will be interesting and mind-expanding.

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

Sorry, but this gem will be closed until the fall or winter of 2020 for renovation and enlargement.  Obviously, the word has gotten out that this place is a must see – the number of visitors doubled between 2016 and 2018.  Put it in your trip planning at some point.

Musée de Luxembourg

You can see more than just the garden over at Luxembourg Palace. Just next door to the French Senate complex, the small Musée du Luxembourg museum often hosts fascinating exhibitions. And, it is true for The Golden Age of the English Painting, from Reynolds to Turner.

From September 11, 2019 to February 16, 2020, if you happen to be in Paris and want to see a dose of English painting in Paris. This is the ticket for you.

Musée Jacquemart-André

Not into English painting? What about paintings from the Italian Renaissance? If so, make trip planning a priority to see, The Alana CollectionMasterpieces of Italian Painting. In this unprecedented loan, seventy-five masterpieces from Italian masters will hang in the sumptuous rooms of the Musée Jacquemart-André. From September 13, 2019, until January 20, 2020, admire works by Lorenzo Monaco, Fra Angelico, Uccello, Lippi, Bellini, Carpaccio, Tintoretto, Veronese, Bronzino, and Gentileschi.

Musée Maillol

One hundred works from ‘Naïve’ artists (“Called ‘modern primitives’ by one of their ardent supporters”) soon will grace the Musee Maillol in the exhibition entitled, From the Douanier Rousseau to Séraphine, The Great Naïve Masters. From September 11, 2019, to January 19, 2020, you can be mesmerized by the seemingly simplistic art by André Bauchant, Camille Bombois, Ferdinand Desnos, Jean Ève, René Rimbert, Dominique Peyronnet, and Louis Vivin. From the museum’s site: “By combining a historical, analytical, and perceptive approach to the works and their presentation in the exhibition, the Musée Maillol will unveil the subversive dimension of Naïve art and will present these Naïve, primitive, modern, or anti-modern artists as great artists who ran counter to the avant-garde artists.”

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Charlotte Perriand: Inventing a New World will be on view from October 2, 2019, to February 24, 2020. The website for the Fondation describes the exhibit, “To mark the twentieth anniversary of the passing of Charlotte Perriand (1903-1999), the Fondation pays tribute to her as an architect and visionary creator through an exhibition of her work exploring the links between art, architecture and design.” Charlotte Perriand worked with both Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret in her youth. She designed interiors for the art of living, “L’Art de Vivre,” with the idea that everything working in conjunction, beautifully, creates a better place for all of us.

charlotte perriand

Furniture and interior by Charlotte Perriand on exhibit. Jacques.delacroix, Meubles Charlotte Perriand, CC BY-SA 3.0

And, for an abbreviated round up of highlights from the performing arts….  There is just soooo much happening in Paris…..

Opéra National de Paris

Over at the Opéra National de Paris, at both venues – Palais Garnier and the Opéra Bastille – of course, there are some of the most in-demand events in the world. Well-known operas from Madam Butterfly to Don Carlo, but also with lesser-knowns, like Les Indes Galantes and Boris Godunov. Plus newer works like Lear. And, the opera is performing a few works from Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

On the ballet and dance front, the troupe is performing a Balanchine tribute from February through April 2020, Giselle in January and February of that year. But, from January 18-29, the ballet will perform Debussy and Ravel together for a cosmic performance. Described on the website as, “Guided by her perpetual fascination for the relationship between pure movement and music, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker takes up Prélude à l’après‑midi d’un faune with the dancers of the Rosas Company. The performance continues with L’Enfant et les sortilèges, a tale written by Colette and finely orchestrated by Ravel. In Richard Jones and Antony McDonald’s production, the singers of the Academy suffuse this work with the freshness of youth.”

As well as many concerts and events. And lots of “Young Audience” events that are great for all ages. Each seems like it is a can’t miss engagement.

Philharmonie de Paris

Okay, the Philharmonie de Paris has about 500 concerts each year – of every kind of music. Plus, it has a museum and mounts exhibitions. A LOT is happening. Some interesting and fun events are the movies where the orchestra plays the music. Yes, live music at a movie. Take a look at the calendar once you have your dates and make a plan to visit this incredible venue. The building alone is worth a visit, but add in talented musicians and singers and performers and you have a guaranteed exciting time.

philharmonie de paris

Inside the Philharmonie de Paris. Photo by BastienM, Paris-Philharmonie1, CC BY-SA 4.0

Even if you lived in Paris, I don’t know how you could see all of these incredible opportunities to learn and experience more!

How did the Mona Lisa Get to France?  In Leonardo da Vinci’s Luggage!

How did the Mona Lisa Get to France? In Leonardo da Vinci’s Luggage!

Around the globe, celebrations are marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death.  Leonardo, from the town of Vinci, hence “da Vinci,” is the Italian Renaissance master who is probably the best known painter, architect, sculptor, engineer, …. in the world.  He was born in 1452 – forty years before Columbus “discovered” America!

On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, Amboise, a small town on the Loire River, deserves a little recognition.  It is here, after all, at the Close Lucé manor house, where Leonardo died in 1519.  It is a special place in the history of art and plays an important role in the French Renaissance.

close luce amboise

The Close Lucé, final home of Leonardo da Vinci and temporary home of the Mona Lisa.

Why Was Leonardo at Amboise?

For at least four reasons.

  1. Because in 1516, François I, the king of France, had his court at the Château d’Amboise.  The castle is located in a prime position to protect the realm of the crown and had also been the location for the French court for several kings before François I.
  2. Along with having his court at Amboise and importantly for lovers of art, François I is known as the French Renaissance patron king.  He not only loved arts and literature, but he promoted these as primary goals in French culture.
  3. Leonardo’s commissions in Italy had been completed and he was left with no patronage.  Remember he was not selling his paintings for hundreds of millions of euros at that time!  And, he was eclipsed by Raphael and Michaelangelo in terms of favor with the current regimes.
  4. Upon learning of the master’s availability, François I and Louise de Savoie invite Leonardo da Vinci to the French court at the Château d’Amboise.

Leonardo accepts the invitation.  He leaves Italy and travels for two months to eventually reach Amboise.  What is significant for art lovers is that he brings three important paintings with him:  St. John the Baptist, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and …. the Mona Lisa.  (It is nearly impossible to think of the 64 year old riding a mule and toting those incredible paintings across the Alps and through the countryside!)

At Clos Lucé

When Leonardo finally arrives, François I names him, “Premier Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King.”  As patron, the king provides the master with a stipend as well as dignified lodging in the Clos Lucé manor house.  Here, da Vinci lives the last few years of his life, living and working in the beautiful Loire Valley.  In 1519, Leonardo dies in his bedroom at Clos Lucé.  Then, he is buried at the Chapel of St. Florentin.  During the Revolution, the chapel was practically destroyed, and the alleged remains of Leonardo are moved to the Chapel of Saint Hubert.  Today, a marble slab marks this as Leonardo’s tomb, although questions remain as to who is buried in Leonardo’s tomb.

Today, visitors can visit the house where Leonardo lived and work.  In these rooms Leonardo designed elements for a castle, including a double helix staircase.  Such a staircase can be found an hour away at the Château de Chambord.  The rooms have been recreated with period furnishings as well as multimedia presentations about his life and work in Clos Lucé.

Down in the basement, you can see three dimensional animations and 40 models of designs by Leonardo.  And, out in the garden around the house, you will find a sculpture garden of sorts.  It features more models of designs by Leonardo including the assault chariot, double span bridge, tank, and multi-barreled gun.

RIP Leonardo.

Leonardo's tank

Model of a tank designed by Leonardo da Vinci on the grounds of Close Lucé.

Details

Amboise is one hour away from Paris by TGV and two hours by car.  At Clos Lucé, see Leonardo’s bedroom, studio and other rooms in the manor house.

Clos Lucé
Address:  2, rue du Clos Lucé, 37400 Amboise, France
Official websitehttp://www.vinci-closluce.com/en

Have a meal at:
Hôtel restaurant Le Clos d’Amboise
Address:  27, Rue Rabelais, 37400 Amboise, France
Official website:  http://www.leclosdamboise.com/en/restaurant

Visit the court château of François I:
Château Royal d’Amboise
Official websitehttps://www.chateau-amboise.com/n/en/

One hour away is Chambord
Also celebrating “half-millennium” since the construction began in 1519 under the instruction of François I.
Official website:  https://www.chambord.org/en/

Want to know more about Leonardo?
Read a biography of Leonardo:
Leonardo da Vinci
by Walter Isaacson

Special note when visiting the Louvre:  Although the Mona Lisa is mobbed with visitors wanting to see her, several other masterpieces by Leonardo are just outside the Mona Lisa’s dedicated room.  Most people walk by without noticing them on the way to see the most famous painting in the world.  This is understandable since there are so many masterpieces on the walls there.  But, if you love Leonardo, take your time in the Grand Gallery and get up close and admire his talents.

Cultural Highlights – Visual and Performing Arts Coming to Paris Spring 2019

Cultural Highlights – Visual and Performing Arts Coming to Paris Spring 2019

Spring 2019 Cultural Highlights

Visual and performing arts again take center stage when planning a trip to Paris.  Along with organ concerts and musical performance at many churches, take a look at this super short list of exciting events.  They may be enough reason to start planning now.

Visual Arts

Love Oceania?

Musee du Quai Branly

Musée du Quai Branly Jacques Chirac hosts a comprehensive exhibition on Oceania from March 12, 2019 until July 7, 2019. On the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific region, encompassing the 25,000 islands of Oceania, he introduced the Western world to Oceanic peoples and their art. From the museum’s website, “Across this vast, scattered territory in which each archipelago island and land has managed to preserve its own unique characteristics, artists nonetheless share universal questions, issues, and reflections. Featuring painstakingly sculpted canoes, jade ornaments, ritual figures, and contemporary videos and installations, Oceania reveals how tradition and ancestral memory coexist with the visionary and sometimes critical perspective that these artists have of their society and the rest of the world.”

Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo

Various exhibitions and site-specific installations fill the huge spaces here. From Julien Creuzet, Theaster Gates, Julius von Bismark, to Louis-Cyprien Rials and more. These young artists are exploring world societies norms and histories and putting it right in front through cutting edge art.  Open from noon to midnight every day except Tuesdays. Buckle up and take a look at the exhibits filling the Palais de Tokyo.

Calder-Picasso

Calder-Picasso

“Calder-Picasso” is on view from February 19, 2019, until August 25, 2019, at the National Picasso Museum Paris (Musée National Picasso-Paris).  This exhibition will be a rare chance to see together approximately 150 works by these two 20th century masters. Negative space or the void is the focus of the show. Should be an interesting mash-up.

The Orient of the Painters, from Dream to Light

Orient of the Painters

From March 7, 2019, until July 21, 2019, the Musée Marmottan Monet mounts “The Orient of the Painters, from Dream to Light.” This show presents Orientalist paintings along with the theory that abstraction had its birth in these Orientalism paintings. (During the 19th century, the “Orient” to the painters in Europe was generally the Middle East and North African countries. The distant exotic lands had only been revealed through Napoleon’s conquests and the return of stories and trophies.) The paintings are alive with vivid color and fantastical scenes. May have to make a return trip to see this show or at least hope for a catalog.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Closed for rehanging and installation.  Reopens March 15, 2019.

Performing Arts

Opéra National de Paris – Bastille

Opera Bastille

Over at the Opéra Bastille, enjoy timeless favorites by recognized masters of opera. Or, see the experimental, Tree of Codes. What about the not too often performed, Prince Igor by Borodine? Or, Rameau’s opera-ballet, Les Indes galantes?

Palais Garnier

Opera Garnier Interior

Celebrate the 350th anniversary of Opera in Paris at the Palais Garnier on 08 May 2019. The incredible diva, Anna Netrebko, will perform along with Yusif Eyvazov. Throughout the remainder of the spring season, Mozart, Verdi, and Donizetti are on the stage, as well as many ballet performances. All are in the sumptuous red velvet and gilded surrounds of the famous opera house.

Philharmonie de Paris

Philharmonie de Paris

photo © William Beaucardet

Find a variety of concerts, chamber music, choral works and solo singing performances in the spring.  Berlioz’s Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s Vespers and even Benjamin Brittan’s War Requiem.  Where else can you hear these?

Modern Dance

Theatre National de Chaillot

Theatre National de Chaillot

Théâtre National de Chaillot offers a selection of interesting and arresting dance performances.  Just reading the titles of the works is enticing:  Some Hope for the Bastards by Canadian, Frédérick Gravel; Nederlands Dans Theater’s, Subtle Dust; Catherine Diverrès’, Blow The Bloody Doors Off!

 

Cultural Highlights of Fall and Winter 2019 in Paris

Cultural Highlights of Fall and Winter 2019 in Paris

Here Are Some Cultural Highlights Coming to Paris Soon

The upcoming fall and winter Parisian cultural season is the prime time for visitors who love visual and performing arts.  Paris is one of the cultural capitals of the world and each year it puts on a show for locals and visitors.  There is no need to understand French to enjoy paintings and listen to music.  However, drama can be a little daunting.  But, if you love to attend plays, by all means, enjoy the scenery and the acting.

Along with the art being exhibited and performed, the buildings housing these shows and performances are worth exploring and admiring in their own right.  The cultural opportunities in Paris are pretty much endless.  But, here are a few highlights from the upcoming fall and winter Parisian cultural season.

Visual Arts

National Picasso Museum Paris (Musée National Picasso-Paris)

Picasso Masterpieces! is a new exhibit in the newly re-opened museum.  Out of his extraordinarily prolific career, the museum investigates what it means to be a masterpiece.  Some of the pieces are exhibited for the first time in Paris.

Musée d’Orsay

 

Picasso. Blue and Rose.  In collaboration with the Picasso Museum, the Musée d’Orsay is exhibiting paintings, sculptures and drawings in a show of his work from 1900-1906.  The works are arranged showing the artist’s development into the blue and rose periods.  Extraordinary works from when Pablo Picasso was very young.

Orsay through the Eyes of Julian Schnabel.  For its first show of contemporary art, the Musée d’Orsay chose Julian Schnabel to interpret the collection.  The filmmaker and painter includes works from the museum’s collection and also presents some of his own paintings.

Grand Palais

Photo by Ron Clausen

Magnificent Venice!, Miró and Michael Jackson.  The Grand Palais is staging exhibitions this fall and winter season that should entice people with a variety of tastes.  Magnificent Venice! explores Europe and the arts in the 18th century.  While, Miró displays nearly 150 works by the surrealist Spanish master, Joan Miró.  Also, an exhibition on Michael Jackson subtitled, “On the Wall”. It explores the cultural impact of Michael Jackson.  Who is in for some MJ?

Paris Photo.  The annual international photography exhibition in the great hall of the Grand Palais.  Most noteworthy works from well-known masters as well as up and coming stars are shown by galleries from all over the world.  Get ready to be overwhelmed by photographs and see the magnificent glass ceiling.

Petit Palais

Jean Jacque Lequeu

The City of Paris’ fine art museum has a few exhibitions that may attract a more focused group of admirers.  Jean Jacques Lequeu (1757-1826) Builder of Fantasy, shows the complete collection of several hundred drawings by the artist, for the first time.  Another show features the work of the Belgian artist, Fernad Khnopff (1858-1921) The Master of Enigma.  Surprises await those who venture into the Petit Palais.

Louvre Museum

Kohei Nawa Throne

Under the pyramid in the Louvre, a contemporary art installation sure to blow you away.  Kohei Nawa’s Throne, is a monumental gilded work combing modern technology and ancient symbols.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Along with its permanent collection, visit this museum for the amazing building and shows on Zao Wou-Ki and Ron Amir.  The huge rooms are just the place for these artists who produce over-size work.  Zao Wou-Ki paints and draws huge images.  And, this collection of Amir’s large format color photos provide insight into the living conditions of refugees from Sudan and Eritrea.

Performing Arts

Opéra National de Paris

Opera Bastille

Mid-September begins the opera season in Paris.  Productions are being staged at the Opéra Basitlle and the Palais Garnier that include repertory works of Tristan und Isolde, La Traviata, and l’Elisir d’Amore.  And, new productions this fall and winter include Les Huguenots, Bérénice, Il Primo Omicidio and Les Troyens.  And, on December 30 and 31st, the Paris Opera will begin a celebration of its 350th year.  Yes, 350th!  The Paris Opera was begun by Louis XIV in 1669.

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Verdi’s La Traviata is the main opera production this fall.  And, the beautiful theater which opened in with the performance of Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring.  Imagine being there then!  Chamber Orchestra of Paris also performs in this space with a variety of scheduled appearances.  The theater also schedules vocal recitals, concert productions of operas, classic and contemporary dance and even Sunday Morning concerts!

Orchestre de Paris

Philharmonie de Paris

photo © william beaucardet

The Paris Orchestra (Orchestra de Paris) performs symphonic works in its new home, the organic and innovative Philharmonie de Paris in the Parc de la Villette.   Works by Beethoven, Britten, Berlioz and the rest of the alphabet of composers of grand music.

Palais Opera Ballet

Opera Garnier Interior

Over at the Palais Garnier, dance lovers can visit the fabled opera house which is a venue for the Paris Opera Ballet.  See Decadance, Tribute to Jerome Robbins, Cinderella and even an interesting succession of Goecke/Lidberg/Cherkaoui.  This last is a work that displays dance and theater by three very different choreographers.  No French language skills needed to enjoy the ballet.

Picasso Circus

Coinciding with Picasso. Blue and Rose and Picasso Masterpiece!, the Théâtre du Châtelet will present Picasso Circus in the Musée d’Orsay for people to learn about circus acts, meet performers and see demonstrations.

Théâtre de la Ville

Sambasô, Divine Dance is a riveting “ritual dance … performed by three generations of the Nomura family of actors who glorify and revolutionize the “kyôgen” tradition.”  Stage design by the renown photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.  The Théâtre de la Ville is closed for renovations, but its events are being staged around town, and this one is in the Espace Cardin.

Comédie-Française

This acting troupe was formed by Louis XIV in 1680.  They perform in several venues, but the luxe Salle Richelieu theater in the Palais Royal complex provides regal seating to watch dramatic performances.  Tune your ear to French while watching the dramas of The Mistress of the Inn by Carlo Goldoni, Lucrezia Borgia by Victor Hugo, or Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Others Worth Investigating

Of course – organ concerts in magnificent churches!

And, for even more performing art events, take a look at these:

Odéon Théâtre de l’Europe

Théâtre National de Chaillot which is the National Theater of Dance

A Step Inside Giacometti’s Studio

A Step Inside Giacometti’s Studio

More than 50 years after his death, Alberto Giacometti’s studio in Paris has been reassembled and is open for you to visit.  You will find it about a mile from his original studio, in the same Montparnasse neighborhood.

Forethought to Preserve an Artist’s Legacy

When he died in 1966, Giacometti’s studio of 40 years was disassembled by his wife, Annette.  She removed all of the artist’s works in progress, furnishings and even the walls to preserve them.  Annette had the forethought, and somehow knew, that Giacometti’s studio should be saved for the future.

Eventually, Giacometti’s studio and artwork, notebooks, sketchbooks and all kinds of things Giacometti, was left by Annette in 1993 to the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti.  The Foundation runs the Giacometti Institute and that organization, “is the reference place for Giacometti’s work and an art history center including exhibitions, research and pedagogy.”

Reconstruction of Giacometti’s Studio

In furtherance of its mission, Giacometti’s studio was reconstructed.  Using old photographs of Giacometti’s studio by Robert Doisneau, Gordon Parks, Sabine Weiss and Ernst Scheidegger the Giacometti Institute rebuilt the studio just as it had been.  At only 15′ x 16′, you wouldn’t think it could hold much.  But, like his skeletal sculptures, Giacometti’s studio is powerful and full of the artist’s presence.

The website explains that now the Giacometti Institute has on permanent display, “Giacometti’s reconstructed studio including his furniture, personal objects, walls painted by the artist and exclusive works, some of which have never before been exhibited.”

Giacometti’s Studio Housed in Art-Deco

The Giacometti Foundation decided to place the institute in a 1914 Art-Deco building with a famous history of its own.  Paul Follot, the renowned Art-Deco artist and interior designer had his showroom in the building.  (Super-cool!)

Of course, the 3,700 square foot space needed lots of work to make it a suitable place for the Institute.  Pascal Grasso, the architect working on the restoration and renovation, had three objectives, “respect the historic monument and give Giacometti’s work pride of place, while devising a contemporary space endowed with its own identity.”

The foundation’s collection is the largest holding of artwork by Alberto Giacometti.  It includes hundreds of sculptures, nearly 100 paintings and thousands of drawings, etchings and engravings.  Some of these can be seen on a visit to the institute.

Breaking Many Banks

Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures are some of the most recognizable in the world – and the most expensive.  “Chariot,” a breathtaking 1950 bronze by Alberto Giacometti, sold for nearly US$101 Million in 2014.  And, in 2015, the spaghetti-string armed, “Pointing Man,” sold for over US$141 Million.  That set a world record for a sculpture at auction.

Alberto Giacometti "Chariot"

“Chariot” by Alberto Giacometti

Want to see a current major exhibition of Alberto Giacometti’s work in the United States?  Visit the Guggenheim in New York through September 12, 2018.

Quotes are from the Fondation Giacometti website.

Giacometti’s Studio
Address:  Inside the Institute Giacometti, 5, Rue Victor Schoelcher, 75014 Paris
Nearest Métro:  Raspail or Denfert-Rochereau
RER:  Line B, Stop: Denfert-Rochereau
Official websitehttp://www.fondation-giacometti.fr/en
Hours:   Open by online reservation system only.  Tuesday from 2:00pm – 6:00pm and Wednesday – Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm.
Closed:  Monday all day and Tuesday mornings.
Admission charge:  Yes

Paris Auction Houses

Paris Auction Houses

Paris is home to some of the greatest auction houses and auction traditions in the world.  Of course Christie’s and Sotheby’s have locations here.  But, Paris also has homegrown auction houses.  One thing that makes these Paris auction houses great is that everyone can participate.  Paris auction houses sell everything from cups and saucers to gold cigarette cases to paintings and art worth millions.

All of the auctions start in the afternoon.  A friend told me all the auctioneers and big spenders go eat lunch and drink together.  There, they decide what things should sell for what amount and to whom.  Then, they go back and auction their wares to the bidder who was in on the action at lunch.

That may have been the case at one time.  But now, all of the auctions are online, so who knows if that still could be true.  People from all over the world bid – and win – on items sold nearly every day from Paris auction houses.  Recently a T-Rex skeleton sold for more than 2 Million Euros.  There are many Paris auction houses, but here are a few.

Drouot

Hôtel Drouot is probably one of the most famous Paris auction houses you have never heard of.  The main location is a big building with many auction rooms under one roof.  It has other locations around the city with even more auction rooms.

About 70 auction firms participate in the Drouot organization.  So there is always something being auctioned – except in August.  Nothing happens in August in Paris auction houses.

Drouot began in the 1850s.  Its location is in the 9th arrondissement and is easily accessed by the Métro.  Just look for the station that bears its name, Richelieu-Drouot.  Check out Drouot Digital.

 

Paris auction house

Artcurial at the Hôtel Marcel Dassault in Paris. CC BY-SA 3.0

Artcurial – One of the Big Paris Auction Houses

The spectacular Hôtel Marcel Dassault is home to Artcurial.  This former private home (yes, a home for one family), was built in 1844.  Not only is the house grand, it is a pretty grand location for an auction house – at the Rond Pont Champs-Élysées. Artcurial is supposedly third in sales of the Paris auction houses after Christie’s and Sotheby’s.  Artcurial has fun automobile sales if you are looking for vintage Bentley’s and Rolls-Royces.

Tajan – Another of the Big Paris Auction Houses

Tajan is another of the Paris auction houses specializing in high quality, high dollar art.  Its sales range from 20th century art deco masterpieces to fine medieval works of art to antiquities.  Plus everything else, including books, fashion and vintage suitcases.  Take a look at Tajan’s website.

Even if you do not participate at one of the Paris auction houses, you can have fun watching – live or at home.  While you are in Paris, drop in and watch live.  Or, you can watch live at home on your computer.  Have fun, listen to the language and enjoy the fun, without spending a dime?

You may be surprised by the amount of money some of these things can bring.  But, then again, you may get lucky and find a perfect souvenir.