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.
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.
Address: Inside the Institute Giacometti, 5, Rue Victor Schoelcher, 75014 Paris
Nearest Métro: Raspail or Denfert-Rochereau
RER: Line B, Stop: Denfert-Rochereau
Official website: http://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