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Arts & Museums
The French museum of photography, located in Bièvres in Essonne, possesses a collection of 25,000 objects, over one million photographs and a very rich library. It was created in 1964 by Jean and André Fage, photography lovers, and it presents the largest collection in Europe. Numerous pieces of equipment are exposed: dark rooms of the 18th Century, and the first cameras as well as today s numeric cameras. The museum website is digitizing a part of its collection: you can zoom in on the pictures, look at negatives, as well as cameras and books from the library.
MAC/VAL is the Museum of Contemporary Art of Val de Seine located in a close Parisian suburb. Inaugurated in 2005, its goal is to present French artistic creation from the 1950s up to today. Famous pieces of art can be seen as well as more recent ones. In all, more than 1000 works of art are exhibited in a building of 13,000 square meters (139 square feet). Moreover, there is an amphitheater dedicated to conferences, artists speeches, festivals and showing of films about movies history. You can also have a walk in a 10,000 square meter (107 square feet)garden in which works of art are exhibited. The MAC/VAL s permanent collection includes artists such as Annette Messager and César.
L'Exploradome provides a great opportunity for children to learn about art and science. Through interactive exhibits, the young ones will learn about our technological and natural worlds. Many of the exhibitions are informative enough that even the adults will probably learn something.
The Maison Armande Béjart is the oldest house in Meudon which has not fallen into ruins, and was purchased in 1676 by Béjart, who was an actress in the theater and Molière's widow. Today, however, it holds the Musée d'art et d'histoire (Art & History Museum) and its permanent collection with a dual focus: art from the 20th Century and the history specific to Meudon and its inhabitants. It also hosts temporary exhibits, shows (including works by Molière), and conferences, often in the lovely courtyard and garden.
Built in memory of the much celebrated photographer Robert Doisneau, Maison de la photographie is a gallery, located in Gentilly, Paris. Established in the late 20th Century, the gallery has various exhibits, showcasing history of photography. The Val de Bièvre handles the management of the gallery currently. The gallery is freely accessible to all. All you shutter bug lovers, don't forget to make a stop at the Maison de la photographie while touring the city!
Love playing cards? Well, here's a chance to know more about the cards you love so much! Visit the wonderful Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer, a museum dedicated to playing cards. Take a look at the wonderful collection of over 9000 objects that includes playing cards, drawings, paintings and about 1000 objects that are card game related. The museum has been awarded the best museum award of Europe in 1999.
Fragonard Museum takes you into a world of perfumes, and gives you an insight into the history of scents and fragrances. The museum conducts guided tours in which visitors learn about the craft of scent making, and get to see pictures of the same. There are also actual antique perfume bottles displayed here, in addition to other scent-related memorabilia. Visitors can enjoy a few of its interactive games, including a perfume smelling test. There is also a retail store from where you can pick up a few of your favorite fragrances.
The Fragonard museum is one of the oldest museums of France: created in 1766, it is part of the veterinary school. It possesses a unique collection of bodies and body parts, exhibited for the sake of human and animal anatomical studies, among which is a collection of freak animals, of diseased body parts, as well as of parasites – some of them were discovered at that time. The central piece of the museum is the "Écorchés by Fragonard," a collection prepared between 1766 and 1772 following the "natural anatomy" method consisting of body preservation in alcohol or by desiccation. Fragonard made some pieces for pedagogical purposes and some others for the sake of art: very impressive!
The Musée Adzak is an art museum in France and is named after the person who established them, Roy Adzak. He was an eminent photographer and sculptor from Britain. The studio has a wide range of exhibits from paintings to sculptures and photographs by several artists. The museum also plays hosts to a number of international meetings.
A small museum managed by the lost and found police department of Paris, the Musée du Service des Objets Trouvés is a quite unique museum. Items that are lost are sent to the museum by others. The museum is not open to common public. It is believed that the museum has a collection of certain unusual items like a lobster, wedding dresses, a wooden leg, a funerary urn and so on, all of which were lost and found at the subway stations or the airport.
Sèvres National Ceramics Museum features different types of ceramic and porcelain from all over the world, particularly traditional fine European and Asian ceramics. The museum was established by Alexandre Brongniar, houses more than 50,000 objects and is a must-visit for fans of pottery and earthenware.
In 1810, the Montrouge stone quarries became catacombs. Because of a lack of space in the graveyards of Paris, it is here, 20 meters (65 feet) underground, that the remains of six million Parisians are exhibited. These ossuaries, illustrated by texts, create a chilling atmosphere and describe some of the events in the history of Paris, giving visitors substance for meditation. During World War II, this network of galleries was used as a hideaway for the Résistance movement; its vastness and the discretion of its entrances were great assets indeed. Today, these subterranean passages allow visitors to explore the true underground of Paris; a must-visit!