By Jacquelin Carnegie
After many, many months of COVID lockdown, Paris plans to open up in May. You already know about the wonderful museums such as the Louvre and the Musee d‘Orsay, but there are also terrific, smaller museums that are not to be missed. Check out these gems.
[Please keep in mind that during COVID, and for the foreseeable future, many places require reservations &/or tickets purchased in advance for a particular day/time and may be open on a reduced schedule.]
23 rue de Sevignée; http://www.carnavalet.paris.fr; 3rd arrondissement, Metro: Chemin Vert or Saint Paul (Closed Mondays; Free) - Reopens May 2021, after a major renovation
Visiting this marvelous, funky museum is like walking through a history book of the story of Paris. It takes you step-by-step through the city’s development from prehistory, when it was the village of Lutèce, through Roman times, the Renaissance, the French Revolution, the Belle Epoque, and on to today. Be sure to start at the beginning, to get the full effect. After you’ve traveled through time, relax in the beautiful, courtyard gardens.
App: "Carnavalet Museum Step by Step" - Walk the streets of Paris to discover the history the museum illuminates right before your eyes.
158 Blvd Haussmann; https://www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com; 8th arrondissement, Metro: Miromesnil or Saint Philippe du Roule (Open daily, Fee.)
This 19th-century mansion is as much a work of art as the masterpieces it houses. Edouard André, from a prominent banking family, and his artist wife, Nélie Jacquemart, had a passion for collecting art. They traveled extensively gathering paintings, sculpture, tapestries, furniture, and objects d’art. Their collection includes works by Botticelli, Chardin, Fragonard, Mantegna, Rembrandt & Van Dyck. There’s even a room devoted entirely to Renaissance paintings. This sumptuously-decorated museum gives you a glimpse into the elegant lifestyle of the Belle Epoque. There's also a sumptuous café with a terrace overlooking the inner courtyard. App: "Jacquemart-André Museum"
18 rue Antoine Bourdelle; http://www.bourdelle.paris.fr; 15th arrondissement, Metro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe (Closed Mondays; Free)
Antoine Bourdelle studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and became an assistant to Rodin in 1893. Bourdelle’s colossal sculptures are on display in his former home, studio and garden, tucked away on a side street in the bustling Montparnasse district. The lovely garden is a great spot to repose after hours of sightseeing; bring a book and a snack.
100 bis, rue d'Assas; http://www.zadkine.paris.fr; 6th arrondissement, Metro: Vavin or Notre Dame des Champs (Closed Mondays; Free)
Russian sculptor Ossip Zadkine came to Paris in the early 1900s. He lived and worked in this tranquil spot near the Jardin de Luxembourg from 1928 to 1967. The collection, displayed in his former atelier and a little garden, features abstract sculptures along with paintings, drawings, tapestries, and photos documenting the work.
Fondation Le Corbusier
8-10 Square du Docteur Blanche; http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr;
16th arrondissement, Metro: Jasmin or Michel-Ange - Auteuil (Closed Sundays & Monday mornings; Fee)
For lovers of architecture and modern design, it’s worth a trip to these beautifully-preserved structures by the famous architect Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris). In a cul-de-sac off Rue du Docteur Blanche, there are two houses, built in 1924:
Maison La Roche (https://bit.ly/1rv5tZR, open to visitors) - This is a wonderful example of Le Corrbusier’s work. Commissioned by Raoul La Roche, who wanted a house with a gallery to display his art collection. Maison Jeanneret (library visits by appointment only) houses the Foundation.
Appartement de Le Corbusier (24 rue Nungesser et Coli; https://bit.ly/1k3Ogev; 16th arrondissement, Metro: Michel-Ange – Molitor or Porte d'Auteuil; One metro stop or a 20 minute walk from the Foundation) - Le Corbusier lived and worked in this apartment and studio on the top floors of Immeuble Molitor from about 1934 until his death in 1965. The light-filled, vaulted space is still decorated with his personal belongings; a treat for Le Corbusier aficionados.
Editor’s Note: Now that Paris is opening up again, get the most out of your upcoming visit with my eBook: THE ARTSY VOYAGER: 101 Artsy & Cool Things To Do in Paris https://amzn.to/38J45Bh