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Arts Off The Beaten Track: Paris Museums and Galleries Worth the Detour

HiP Paris Blog - Ali Postma - Marian Goodman Gallery - DSC_2146LEADwCerith Wyn Evans at Marian Goodman Gallery – Ali Postma

As an arts lover in Paris, you’re spoilt for choice. But once you’ve ticked off all the major art museums and galleries – such as the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay – you might want to explore some of the lesser-known options in the city with the added bonus of avoiding long queues, crowds, and sometimes even entry fees. Here’s our guide to arts off the beaten track:

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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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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 »

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Late Night Art: Paris’ Nuit Blanche 2009

nuitsblanchesparisiensalonparisiensalon.com

Grab an espresso and gear up for an endless evening of artistic exploration! This Saturday, October 3, Paris’ Nuit Blanche returns for its 8th year. This free annual event (which translates roughly to “sleepless night”) celebrates the importance of art as a central part of life in Paris and its diverse communities. This year’s fete has no explicit theme, but rather is dedicated to areas of the city “which you can explore through dream-like trails.” As night falls, thousands of art-lovers will wander the streets, exploring the boundaries between art and life, dream and reality… Continue Reading »

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