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The All-Rounders: Paris Museums and Galleries to Visit All Year Long

HiP Paris Blog on the museums that can be visited all year longFondation Louis Vuitton

Unless you’re like me, you probably don’t organize your holidays around art exhibitions. Which means, it can be a bit of a gamble what you might see when you finally arrive at an art gallery or museum. I find nothing more frustrating than discovering that an exhibition I would have been interested in seeing finished the day before, or starts the day after I leave. But luckily, no matter what exhibition is on, there are some museums in Paris that are worth visiting all year round. Whether it be stunning architecture or impressive permanent collections, these museums never fail to impress!

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February Events in Paris: Our Top Picks

For those of you lucky enough to be heading to Paris this month and looking for some interesting things to do, here is a roundup of great events and general goings on. Amusez-vous bien! – Erin Dahl

Carams

La musique

February 23: Brooklyn rockers Real Estate, whose albums are consistently rated Best New Music by Pitchfork and the like, will perform at Nouveau Casino.

February 24: Pop-dance producers Simian Mobile Disco,  a British duo that broke off from previous band Simian, will perform a DJ set at La Machine du Moulin Rouge.

Dave Bloom

Les arts

Through February 19: Les Femmes savantes, a favorite amongst Molière’s work and a satirical criticism of the ridiculous préciosité that penetrated 18th century French salons, is showing at the Théâtre de la Tempête.

Through February 19: Chic! Une grande maison at Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine – a look into the history of Paris architecture, specifically the lovely hôtels particuliers that dot the city. Child friendly.

Through March 15: You may know Maxim’s for its resto and boutique, but they also have an exhibition space and this month “Moi, Sarah Bernhardt” is on show. Bernhardt, often thought of as the world’s first and most famous actress, paved the way for female performers to come. Now you can take a peek into her life and passion.

Matt Mansfield

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Posted in Arts, Events | 4 Comments »

Art Foundations: Discovering Paris’ Lesser-Known Artistic Gems

Baccarat House (Hotels Paris Rive Gauche)

Most visitors to Paris don’t know what they’re missing by not knowing the word fondation. I know I didn’t when I moved from New York. When I heard about the Yves Saint Laurent or Henri Cartier-Bresson fondations, for example, I just assumed they were boring non-profits or something. Silly girl.

Fondations are Paris’ little artistic gems. Often housed in magnificent old hotels particuliers or modern spaces designed by world-renowned architects, these “foundations” are like miniature museums, dedicated to preserving the memory and achievements of influential movers and shakers. Here are some not to be missed.

Fondation Cartier

Fondation Cartier (Tim Brown Architects’)

By far my favorite is the Fondation Cartier. The modern, airy Jean Nouvel-designed building invites the lush cedar and fig trees surrounding the building inside, and the surrounding wild gardens make for a perfect pit-stop after taking in the art. And then there’s the art. Seeing as it’s the hoighty-toighty French jeweler’s fondation, the work is nothing short of sterling. Exhibitions are really well curated, ranging from Japanese megastar Beat Takashi Kitano’s kitschy-controversial paintings to the wildly popular 2009 graffiti art exhibition to William Eggleston photographs.

261 Blvd Raspail (14th arr.). 01 42 18 56 50. Open every day, except Monday, from 11am-8pm; Tuesdays until 10pm.

Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent

Exhibit at Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves St. Laurent (Virginie Arnoux, Tulio Borges)

Yves Saint Laurent is a god to the French, to fashionistas and to feminists. So it only makes sense that there’s a fondation devoted to the iconic fashion designer in one of the city’s chichi-est arrondissements. Don your finest and dive deep into four decades’ worth of original sketches, accessories, haute couture and ready-to-wear. While many of the rotating exhibitions are devoted to YSL, not all of them are. Past standouts include shows by painter David Hockney, interior designer Jean-Michem Frank and American socialite Nan Kempner.

5 Avenue Marceau (16th arr). 01 44 31 64 00. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Design, Events | 8 Comments »

Le 104: Hip Art, Food and Shopping In a Colorful Corner of Paris’ 19th Arrondissement

Art installation at the 104

Paris is not a city lacking in cultural gathering places. And I’m not just referring to café terraces – be they high brow (the Flore), or controversial (La Perle). Just to keep the scene fresh, in 2008, the Mairie de Paris (Paris City Hall) converted a former morgue in the North East of Paris into a vast cultural centre, Le 104. With its art, restaurants, events and shops, it has since been drawing the bobo throngs to this otherwise gritty and largely overlooked part of the capital.

The monumental space, covering 39 000m2, was built in 1873 and became the municipal funeral parlor in 1905. Over a century later, the building has kept its open-to-all policy and the skeleton of its magnificent steel and glass structure, but now as a slightly less morose place pass some time.

Inside the 104

The 104 defines itself rather broadly as an Artistic Establishment. Under that title, it puts on a dynamic range of cultural events including art installations, art fairs, events, concerts and theatre performances. Around the edges of one of the two great halls are artists’ and musicians’ studios, and within each of the halls there is usually a variety of installations and exhibits and you will often see dancers or actors rehearsing here. You can even partake in free Qi-Jong classes and there is a dedicated space for children, La Maison des Petites.

Art Installation at the 104

There are three eateries at the 104, which cater to the full gamut of budgets and appetites. For a quick bite, there is the pizza van parked up in the smaller hall. The second option is the Café Caché, tucked away behind an interior courtyard. The 50s style decor was designed by a former artist in residence at le 104, Sebastien Wierinck. Here the speciality is small-plate sized servings, which you can mix and match in savoury and sweet combinations. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Food | 6 Comments »

Playtime in Saint Germain

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While many tourists may be flocking to more traditional art institutions (the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay), in-the-know Parisians are simply soaking up the art in their own neighborhoods. That’s right… public art is on the rise in Paris, and it is all around if you keep your eyes open! This week, you won’t want to miss the final few days of Parcours Saint Germain, an annual contemporary art exhibition that takes place in sites throughout the 6th arrondissement — from designer boutiques, to historic cafés, to public squares, to the local Monoprix. Continue Reading »

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