When I began this blog, my mission was to introduce readers not so much to world-renowned museums like the Musée d’Orsay, but to those small, little-known museums that make Paris so unique, the ones which don’t necessary appear on the front page of magazines or guide books. I was interested in the forgotten, the bizarre, the tiny, the specialised, the hidden-away and the underrated. As I noted on the blog’s About page when I launched it in June of 2011, everyone has heard of the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay, but few know about places like the Musée de la vie romantique or the Fondation Lecorbusier. Thus, for years, I felt huge, world-renowned museums didn’t really have a place on Les Musées de Paris.
But six years and almost a hundred museum posts later, the Orsay’s absence from these pages is starting to feel conspicuous.
Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t been avoiding the Musée d’Orsay for any reason other than its fame. I adore the gilt and glass museum, a former train station that was transformed into the modern art counterpart to the Louvre in the 1980s. The museum is impossibly gorgeous, its halls reminiscent of the original Belle Epoque railway station, replete with a huge gold clock hanging above it all.
In fact, the Musée d’Orsay was one of the first places I visited on my first trip to Paris at the age of 14. I love the Musée d’Orsay and its incomparable collection of Impressionist, Cubist, Fauvist, Pointillist and Modernist art. But I’ve deliberately excluded it until today.
Les Musées de Paris’ favourite gems are the lesser-known museums of Paris. But those little Paris museums are gaining more and more exposure, on this blog and beyond, a fact which makes me joyful and proud. So it’s no longer necessary to exclude any Paris museums from this blog; there’s room to celebrate – and visit – every single one.