The ‘Other’ Museums of Paris

By Gaizka Pujana

These are perhaps the best known and most widely visited of the Paris museums.

But Paris is also the home of many other fine museums that often get overlooked by the casual visitor — museums well worth seeing and well worth adding to any visitor’s itinerary Among those that should not be missed are the following:

Musee Picasso. (Metro: St. Paul) A chronological collection of more than 3000 works of Pablo Picasso together with the artist’s own collection of Cezanne, Degas, Rousseau, Seurat, Mattisse, and various personal archives.

Musee Marmottan-Monet. (Metro: La Muette) While a lesser known and more recent museum, it has one of the world’s largest collection of Monet’s. The works were provided by the physician (Georges de Bellio) of Manet, Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir, in 1957 and by the Monet’s second son, Michel, in 1966.

Musee Rodin. (Metro: Varenne) Seven acres in the building, courts, and spectacular gardens of the Hotel Biron contains both bronze and plaster sculptures (e.g. The ‘Thinker’, and ‘Gates of Hell), sketches, paintings and archives of Auguste Rodin. An excellent venue.

Musee Delacroix. (Metro: St. Germain des Fres) The works of Eugene Delacroix presented in the artist’s apartment and studio. Exhibits rotate between his drawings, pastels and watercolours.

Musee Malliol. (Metro: Rue du Bac) A museum of 20th Century art collected by Dina Viernyincluding works of Gauguin, Bonnard, Redon, Kandinsky, and others. There are permanent exhibits dedicated to Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, and Marcel Duchamp, and to the French Primitivists.

Musee Guimet. (Metro: Lena) The museum is the French National Museum of Asian Art. It includes precious art and artefacts from South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Japan and Indonesia. It also offers the Galleries of the Buddhist Pantheon together with a Japanese Garden and Tea Pavillion of exquisite quality.

One of the last of the smaller Paris Museums, but one that should be first for the visitor new to Paris, is the Musee Carnavalet (Metro: St. Paul). This museum, housed in the Hotel Carnavalet and an adjoining mansion, is dedicated to the history of Paris itself. In it are both permanent and temporary exhibits highlighting the long history of Paris and its culture.

None of the museums mentioned here would be called large museums and certainly none of these are as well-known as the Louve or the Musee dOrsay. But each of these museums does provide a special and focused perspective of the real Paris and her many fine artists. Certainly, none of these museums deserve to be missed by anyone visiting Paris.

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