June 9, 2016

Paris Museum Round-Up: Delacroix, Rodin, Barbie

I had lofty expectations for how many museums I would patronize during my 3 1/2 weeks in Paris. I ended up at three museums that are not normally on the museum tour of Paris, but maybe you will want to include one of them on your next visit to the City of Light.

Two of the museums were actually the homes and studios of the artists, and, while not quite as impressive as Monet's gardens in Giverny, it was interesting to observe where Delacroix and Rodin found the most inspiration for their creativity.

1. Musée National Eugène Delacroix - Saint Germain des Près

6 Rue de Furstenberg
Open everyday except Tuesdays from 9:30 to 17:30
More information

This home-turned-museum is right in the heart of the Left Bank, but nestled into a corner of a square down a narrow lane. I was really hoping that at least a copy of his Liberty Leading the People would be displayed somewhere, but I wasn't so lucky. Instead, several of Delacroix's original sketches and smaller paintings were on the walls. The coolest thing about this museum - besides the adorably hidden location - was the painting class going on in the garden.

2. Musée National Auguste Rodin - Meudon

19 avenue Auguste Rodin, Meudon
Open only Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 13:00 to 18:00

Meudon is so far off the beaten path, it is necessary to take a suburban train or go to the end of a metro line, then still get on a bus to reach this museum. Meudon is close to the Clamart suburb with a bird's eye view of the Eiffel Tower, and I highly recommend a good wander through the beautiful homes (and a peek into the Saint-Philippe school grounds).

Rodin was a very sensual artist, and his expressions of movement are intensely emotional. An interesting point about this Rodin home is the idea that he led a happy wholesome life with his partner, and eventual wife, Rose. There is zero mention of Camille Claudel, his student and lover who created the masterpiece The Mature Age.

My favorite part of this museum was actually the picnic I had in the garden. It's the perfect place to spend a warm afternoon, just check the limited opening hours before venturing out to Meudon.

3. Musée des Arts Décoratifs - Louvre

107 Rue de Rivoli
Open everyday except Mondays from 11:00 to 18:00

This museum has tons of exhibitions, rooms, and floors - I got lost more than once! But the main reason I went was to explore the current Barbie exhibit, which will still be on display until September 18, 2016.

It was way too much fun to read about (French and English available) and see the evolution of Barbie through the actual dolls. I found at least four of the Barbie dolls I had growing up and the museum did a great job showing how Barbie really is a cultural icon.

Gymnastics Barbie was awesome because
she could bend her elbows and knees finally!

Even if you're not into the Barbie doll scene like I apparently am, this museum travels through time with the furniture and decorations on each floor, and rewards with a lovely view over the Tuileries to the Eiffel Tower. (I am all about Eiffel Tower views.)

The next Paris museums on my list are Galliera, Marmottan Monet, and Fondation Louis Vuitton. I can't quite seem to get myself over to the west side of Paris without getting distracted by the Eiffel Tower. Eventually, I hope I have a friend living on that side, and that will give me the excuse to spend more time in those arrondissements.

My next Paris post will help everyone continue to understand my love affair with Paris, and it has everything to do with serendipity.

Have you been to any of these museums? Which Paris museum is your favorite?

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