TOP-20 main museums and centers of Paris


TOP 20 major museums and centers in Paris

Paris is not only the fashion capital of the world, but also one of the main art centers on the planet. ARTANDHOUSES has brought together the most important art museums and institutions in the French capital that should be visited by all art lovers.

Musée du Louvre

One of the largest and most popular museums in the world in terms of the composition of its collections and temporal coverage, it is located in the former royal palace. Millions of spectators a year pass through the halls with art from the ancient world to the middle of the 19th century, and almost all of them strive to see “La Gioconda” by Leonardo da Vinci, Venus de Milo and Nika of Samothrace. According to the high status, large-scale exhibitions of key artists in the world art history are held here – from Raphael to Delacroix.

However, the main French museum does not move away from modernity, regularly organizing exhibitions-interventions by contemporary authors in the halls with permanent exposition, as well as in the central hall.

Musée d'Orsay

Everything that did not fit in the Louvre, namely European art from the mid-19th century to 1914, is shown here at the Musée d'Orsay located literally across the river. The collection is based on canvases of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Before being converted into a museum, the stately and opulently decorated former train station was occupied by the Drouot-Rive Gauche and the top of the Rene Barro Theater Company in the 1970s. As a rule, Orsay hosts personal or group exhibitions associated with the star names of the museum collection – Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Renoir, Rousseau and many other French artists.

Le Musée de l & # 8217; Orangerie

Since 2008 Orangerie Museum combined with the Musée d'Orsay into a single complex. One floor of the Orangery Museum is completely occupied by the large-scale “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet; the collection of Jean Walter and Paul Guillaume is also shown here. They were consistently married to a woman, Domenica, who sold the masterpieces collected by her husbands to the state in the late 1950s. Among them are Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, as well as Modigliani, Utrillo, Soutine and van Dongen.

Center Georges Pompidou

Georges Pompidou National Center for Art and Culture , or Beaubourg , brings together the State Museum of Contemporary Art, which moved here from the Tokyo Palace, the library, the Institute for Research and Coordination of Acoustics and Music and the Center for Industrial Design. All these organizations are located under the roof of a rather large building by Parisian standards, which was designed by Renzo Piano. Despite the fact that forty years have passed since its construction, it looks ultramodern even now. Showcased here is one of the most complete 20th century art collections in Europe, including works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Dali, Magritte , Mondrian and Warhol, among others.

The permanent exhibition of the Center changes today twice a year, and temporary large-scale exhibitions replace each other once a quarter. The latter, as a rule, are dedicated both to the classics of contemporary art, from Warhol to Cy Twombly and Bacon, as well as to contemporary authors.

Musée du Luxembourg

The heirs of the first Parisian public museum with the Royal Collection, located in the Luxembourg Gardens Louvre, Orsay and, in a sense, the Pompidou Center. After the transfer to the Louvre of the collection with paintings by da Vinci, Titian, Raphael and van Dyck in 1818 The Luxembourg Museum was obliged to exhibit the works of still living, that is, contemporary artists. The luxurious baroque palace remained such an exhibition hall until 1937. Now the Luxembourg Museum does not have its own collection, but large temporary exhibitions are held here – from old masters to modernists. In the 2000s, a modern spirit was brought to the building: architects Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastin added a café and an educational program area.

Château de Versailles

Founded by the sun king Louis XIV, the country residence of the French kings has become perhaps the most active museum promoting contemporary art in classical spaces. Jeff Koons , Takashi Murakami , Joana Vasconcelos , Anish Kapoor and Olafur Eliasson were presented in a sacred place for conservatives. This part of the public collected signatures against such exhibitions, and vandals repeatedly attacked the Kapoor object in the park of Versailles. The nearly ten-year program has now been paused. Historical projects are ahead.

Grand Palais/Petit Palais

The last century was greeted in Paris on a grand scale – especially for the 1900 World Exhibition at Several objects were built in the city, including the Orsay train station, two exhibition palaces Grand Palais and Petit Palais , as well as a bridge in honor of the Russian Emperor Alexander III next to them. Now, under the openwork vaults of the Grand Palace, all key events are held, from antiques (Biennale des Antiquaires) and contemporary art (FIAC) fairs to large-scale exhibitions, while the Small Palace across the road houses a permanent exhibition with works by Cézanne and Dürer and more intimate temporary exhibitions with an emphasis classic European art.

Grand Palais

Petit Palais

Musée Jacquemart-André


After the death of the spouses Cornelia and Edouard Jacquemart-André, who had no heirs, the luxurious residence on Boulevard Haussmann and the second most important French collection of old masters after the Louvre were transferred by bequest to the Institut de France for setting up a public museum. To visit here means to see Tiepolo, Botticelli, van Dyck, Rembrandt and French classics – David, Chardin and Fragonard in the preserved interiors of a private house with creaky floors. The level of temporary exhibitions is evidenced by the fact that even Queen Elizabeth II does not regret giving out exhibits, as was the case with Canaletto's exposition.

Musée national Picasso

Among the chamber museums located in the mansions of the Mare quarter, a special place is occupied by the Picasso Museum , which opened to the public in 2014 after an extensive five-year reconstruction. After its completion, additional exhibition spaces and a public area in the former stable were added to the 17th century Hôtel Salé. The collection is based on the artist's works, donated to France by his family in order to avoid paying taxes. Temporary exhibitions are in one way or another connected with Picasso, people from his environment, or great artists of the 20th century, for example, Alberto Giacometti.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

One of the richest people in the world, owner of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group of companies and collector Bernard Arnault opened a huge exhibition space in 2014. The building, designed by Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry, looks like a futuristic ship with a dozen sails, cutting through the expanse of the Bois de Boulogne. It hosts exhibitions that any traveler visiting Paris should visit. They can be summed up in one word – innovative. Even when they tell stories of days gone by.

Musée Rodin

Rodin Museum was housed in a 17th century mansion known as the Bironov Palace – at the beginning of the 20th century it became the property of the state, which began to rent it out to artists. So in 1908 Rodin settled here and lived until his death. In addition to the sculptor's canonical works, including The Kiss and The Thinker, his personal collection of art with works by Van Gogh and Munch is kept here, as well as temporary exhibitions showing things already known from an unusual point of view.

Musée des arts décoratifs de Paris

Advantageously located next to the Louvre and boasting one of the most representative thematic collections of arts and crafts in the world. Fashion, textiles, furniture chronologically cover more than one era – from the Middle Ages to the present day. Thematic exhibitions here are dedicated either to contemporary designers, or to whole areas – from historical to contemporary.

Musée Condé Domaine de Chantilly

Henri was the last owner of the Chantilly estate near Paris Orleans, son of King Louis-Philippe I of France. A progressive aristocrat, who collected his collection in exile after the abolition of the monarchy, also bequeathed his property to the Institut de France for the opening of the Musée Condé … Among the treasures available to the public are a selection of Raphael's works, including his Three Graces, Self-Portrait at 24 by Ingres, and The Massacre of Babies by Nicolas Poussin. In March 2017, a new gallery of prints and graphics opened on the estate, where drawings by old masters will be shown, and temporary exhibitions of the Condé Museum are built on combining masterpieces from the collection with contemporary works.

Musée d & # 8217; Art moderne de la Ville de Paris/Palais de Tokyo

The building, from the gallery of which offers a magnificent view of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower, was built for the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris. Now its east wing houses the Museum of Contemporary Art of the City of Paris with a comprehensive collection of 20th century art, with an emphasis on the so-called Parisian school and local artists who came here to work, and in the west – Tokyo Palace – space for endless experiments in the field of contemporary art and avant-garde exhibitions.

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Musee Marmottan Monet


If there are not enough impressionists after visiting Orsay and Orangerie, then you can enhance the impression in this museum, the former hunting lodge of the Duke of Valmy on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne. From the moment of opening, things related to the era of Napoleon were shown here, and in the late 1950s, a collection assembled by Dr. Georges de Bello appeared here. The museum currently houses an impressive array of Monet's works – hence the second part of its name.

Palais Galliera – Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

The permanent exhibition of this museum is devoted to fashion since the 18th century, from the costumes of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVII to the present. Here you can see the works of all designers and fashion houses, whose names allow France to remain a trendsetter to this day. Among them are Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Jeanne Lanvin and Coco Chanel. Temporary exhibitions fully correspond to the main theme of the museum, and sometimes they also present wardrobes of “style icons” from different countries and continents, from Delilah to Lady Dee.

Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain

Founded in 1984, the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art is housed in a building designed by the famous Jean Nouvel. The organization is engaged in the purchase and display of works of art by contemporary artists and designers in a variety of techniques – photography, painting, installations, video art, fashion. Some are ordered specifically for the Foundation, as was the case with, for example, Wim Delvoye, Tony Oisler, Gary Hill and David Lynch.

Fondation Custodia

The foundation is located in the 18th century Hôtel Turgot near the Musée d'Orsay. It was founded by the will of the self-taught collector Frederick Johannes Lugt, whose collection formed the basis of an extensive graphic collection of works by Dutch and Flemish masters. The fund is famous for its aesthetic exhibitions, which you can get to by prior call.

Monnaie de Paris

Paris Mint , founded in the 9th century, is the oldest institution not only in France, but throughout the world. The secrets of production are revealed here in a permanent exhibition, made in accordance with the latest trends in museum fashion. In parallel, contemporary art exhibitions are held in baroque interiors, from shows of the Francois Pinault collection to a retrospective Maurizio Cattelana .

Maurizio Cattelan

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Cultural cluster of democratic format in a huge industrial building of the early XX century (once there was the main city morgue), where everyone can find something to do. It hosts large exhibitions, including stars like Anthony Gormley and Keith Haring, concerts, various art festivals, performances and theatrical performances.

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