When I began this blog, my mission was to introduce readers to those small, little-known museums that make Paris so unique, but 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 des Lettres et Manuscrits 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. It was also the first excursion I took l’Américain on when he arrived in Paris for the first time, ten years after that visit of mine. 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.
Xx La Muséophile
1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 (métro: Solférino or RER Gare du Musée d’Orsay)
Full price: 12 euros
Reduced price: free-9 euros
Tuesday to Sunday: 9.30am to 6pm (9.45pm on Thursdays)