Arts

Paris Art News: New Museums and Reopenings

by Ali Postma

Museums were closed in Paris since the end of October, just over six months ago! Thankfully, they finally re-opened on May 19. But what’s even more exciting is the fact that there are a number of new museums in Paris, or museums undergoing renovations, which have opened their doors since restrictions were lifted, or are due to soon. Here’s what’s new in the Paris art world:

Left: an exterior shot of Galleria Continua in Paris, with people lining up to enter and a woman riding past on a bike. Right: a woman observing an artwork inside Galleria Continua.
Top: Musée Carnavalet Photo by Jean-Baptiste Gurliat / City of Paris. Above: Gallerie Continua Photo by Sara de Santis.

Galleria Continua

Italian art gallery Galleria Continua, which is based in San Gimignano but has locations in Beijing, Havana, Rome, São Paolo, has opened a new space in Paris. It’s a galerie-épicerie (gallery/specialty market) with products from the countries in which the gallery is located, as well as signed books and original artworks by the gallery’s artists. The inaugural exhibition “Truc à faire” was curated by famous French artist JR.

Left: a woman pointing at something inside Musee du Louvre, a child sitting on the ground and a man knelt beside him look where she is pointing. Right: the exterior facade of Musee Carnavalet.
Left: Musée du Louvre © 2020 Musée du Louvre / Florence Brochoire. Right: Musée Carnavalet © Cyrille Weiner.

Musée du Louvre

The Louvre took advantage of being closed to undertake deep cleaning and restoration. At least two wings were renovated, other exhibitions and artworks have been cleaned with explanatory wall texts added, and more. In other Louvre news, the Cy Twombly Foundation has accused the museum of seriously altering the impact of the American artist’s monumental work on the ceiling of the Salle des Bronzes and have filed a law suit.

Left: a silver mirrored flag artwork outside the Bourse de Commerce. Right: a basketball hoop transformed into a chandelier as a work of art inside Bourse de Commerce.
Left: La Bourse de Commerce Photo by Claire Lavabre. Right: La Bourse de Commerce Photo by Aurélien Mole.

La Bourse de Commerce

Paris’ former stock exchange has been transformed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando into a new contemporary art museum, the Bourse de Commerce. The museum will house businessman and art collector François Pinault’s collection. Originally set to open in September 2020, then postponed to January 23 this year, the space finally opened on May 22.

Left: an interior shot of Maison de Victor Hugo with heavy patterned curtains, floors and artworks on the wall. Right: an interior shot of the Bourse de Commerce and its frescoes.
Left: Maison de Victor Hugo Photo by Emilie Chaix / City of Paris. Right: La Bourse de Commerce Photo by Maxime Tetard.

Musée Carnavalet

After four years of renovations, the Musée Carnavelet reopened on May 29. The museum is one of the oldest in Paris, dating back to 1880, with a collection that includes over 610,000 rare items. It focuses on the history of the French capital from Antiquity to the 20th century. 

Two interior shots of the Musee Carnavalet showing painted frescoes, marble, and a staircase.
Musée Carnavalet © Cyrille Weiner.

Maison de Victor Hugo

Closed since April 2019, Maison de Victor Hugo was supposed to re-open in November 2020 but is now set to reopen on June 9. The museum, located on the Place des Vosges, has undergone renovations to the interior and a courtyard which was previously inaccessible to the public. It will now feature a café-tearoom by French pastry chef Gérard Mulot.

Left: an interior shot of the 'room of signs' at Musee Carnavalet. Right: an interior shot of Maison de Victor Hugo with three paintings on a red fabric covered wall.
Left: Musée Carnavalet Photo by Jean-Baptiste Gurliat / City of Paris. Right: Maison de Victor Hugo Photo by Emilie Chaix / City of Paris.

Le Grand Palais Éphémère

While the Grand Palais is under renovations until 2023, a temporary venue has been constructed on the Champ-de-Mars between the École Militaire and the Eiffel Tower. The ephemeral structure was designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte in the shape of a white cross with 10,000 m2 of exhibition and event space, only 2,000m2 less than the “real” Grand Palais. It will be inaugurated on June 9.

The exterior of Le Grand Palais Ephemere with the Eiffel Tower reflected in the glass.
Le Grand Palais Éphémère Photo by Patrick Tourneboeuf Photography.

Maison Gainsbourg

Thirty years after his death, the Parisian home of Serge Gainsbourg, located in the 7th arrondissement, will open to the public. His daughter Charlotte is responsible for preserving her father’s private mansion, and the decision to transform it into a museum dedicated to him. After some renovations, Maison Gainsbourg is expected to open its doors in autumn this year.

Left: the exterior of Le Grand Palais Ephemere with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Right: another exterior shot of Le Grand Palais Ephemere.
Le Grand Palais Éphémère Photos by Patrick Tourneboeuf Photography.

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou has announced it will close in 2023 for 3 years of major renovations. Designed by Renzo Piano and inaugurated in 1977, the iconic building is “in distress” and essential maintenance work is required. The renovations are expected to cost approximately 200€ million and it is hoped the museum will re-open for its 50th anniversary in 2027.

Left: a view from Centre Pompidou looking out to Paris. Right: an exterior shot of Galleria Continua with people looking in the windows.
Left: Centre Pompidou. Right: Galleria Continua Photo by Sara de Santis.

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Written By

Ali Postma

Ali is from Melbourne, Australia, where she studied Art History and Art Curatorship at university and worked in various art galleries. Passionate about all things arts and culture, she loves French film, Nordic noir, photography, street art and architecture. Addicted to pain au chocolat, Ali is fulfilling her dream of living in Paris. View Ali Postma's Website

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