If you ask where the capital of art, fashion and pleasure is, I think we would all have the same answer: Paris. As a painter and designer, this city, which I frequently visit for both my painting exhibitions and events where my bag collections take place, is also a museum paradise. In this article, I would like to share with you the modern art museums in Paris that I love, am impressed by and visit every chance I get. Because whether you are an artist or an art lover, it is well known how museums bring new dimensions to our perspective and add beauty to our lives.
This year, I am starting a new program in which we will visit Istanbul museums in the field studies concept of my CREATIVITY classes at Vakko Esmod Academy. Maybe one day I’ll do the same project in different countries, in different cities. Who knows…
Let’s take a tour of 8 beautiful and inspiring museums of modern art in Paris.
1-Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Foundation Louis Vuitton, owned by LVMH, one of the world’s largest fashion companies, is located in the very center of the city, at the 1st arrondissement. Opened in 2014 FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON is not just a museum, but a 360-degree art center. In addition to periodic exhibitions, there are concerts and events for families. One of the events that impressed me the most was Art for Babies, which will be held between October 23rd and November 26th, 2022. This event, organized to make babies aged 0-24 months (yes, you read that right) love art, lasts 45 minutes. Based on the current Monet and Mitchell exhibitions, this event is the best example of introducing children to art at an early age.
Le Frank, one of the hippest places in Paris inside the museum, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the space is very small and reservations are required for dinner.
2- Fondation Cartier
FONDATION CARTIER, which opened its doors much earlier than the LV Foundation, is another great example of how well-known fashion houses value art. Founded in 1984, the museum has been at 261 Raspail Boulevard since 1994. In the building where works on modern and contemporary art are exhibited, the exhibition of the famous French artist Fabrice Hyber, which will start in the coming months, is worth seeing.
Leaving the museum, walk 300 meters to Restaurant Le Duc, where you will taste perhaps the best seafood in Paris. The place, which is not very interesting from the outside, is especially popular with the locals. Try it if you like fish and seafood, you won’t regret it.
3- Center Pompidou
Being one of the most famous modern art museums in Paris, the Centre Pompidou is known to host the most events. The Modern & Contemporary Collection exhibition, which will be on display until the end of the year and will feature works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, is Europe’s largest collection of modern and contemporary art at the moment.
In addition to this exhibition, which includes installation, sculpture, architecture, painting, photography and video, there are also virtual exhibitions. In addition to the Miro exhibition, be sure to see Abstraction & Calligraphy at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. It’s really breathtaking.
After visiting the museum, Georges on the top floor is ideal for a drink and a meal. The view is amazing. And the food is delicious. The good thing is that there is service all day. However, if you go in the evening, you are unlikely to find a seat without a reservation.
Focused entirely on modern and contemporary art MAM (Musée d’Art Modern de Paris), with its collection of 15,000 pieces, is one of the largest museums not only in Paris but also in France. Among its permanent exhibitions, it hosts the works of many world-famous painters such as Modigliani, Picasso and Chagall. I especially recommend you to see Dufy’s masterpiece The Electricity Fairy, the largest painting in the world, and Matisse’s La Danse.
Located on the museum’s garden terrace, Forest is ideal for both lunch and dinner, with stunning views of the Eiffel.
5- Palais De Tokyo
There is fierce competition between the modern art museums in Paris. Which one is bigger, which one has more artifacts? MAM’s neighbor in the race to be the best PALAIS DE TOKYO is also at the forefront. Opened in 1937, the museum was located in the 16th district, between the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysées boulevard. In addition to various exhibitions, it hosts meditations, workshops, periodic events and special meetings. It has another interesting feature. YOYO, one of the most crowded nightclubs in Paris, is located inside the museum.
6- Dali Paris
To put it simply, I adore Montmartre. I feel as if I’ve stepped into a time machine and been transported to the turn of the century thanks to all the local artists, quaint hotels, and cozy bistros. The Dali Paris museum at the 18th district, is one of my favorite museums to visit during a pleasant Montmartre tour. Dali Paris, where more than 300 works by Salvador Dali are exhibited, hosts special periodical collections of Dali’s works at certain times of the year.
I don’t like to eat here because the area is very touristic, but Chez Eugène has a better quality and a wider menu than other places. You can have a quick snack.
7- Picasso Paris National Museum
You can’t talk about the Dali museum and skip the Picasso Museum. This museum in the 3rd district of Paris hosts the works of Picasso as well as exhibitions of other artists. Pablo’s daughter Maya Ruiz Picasso’s exhibition, which will run until the end of this year, is worth seeing. The museum is not very big, you can visit it in about 1.5 hours. In 2023, the famous artist’s 50th birthday will be celebrated. On the anniversary of his death, 42 special events will be organized. On April 8, a special celebration will take place under the patronage of French President Macron.
Take a coffee break at Le Café Sur Le Toit on the top floor of the museum, or try Jewish or French cuisine in the nearby Le Marais neighborhood. Located 150 meters from the museum, Le III is ideal for a typical lunch. It’s not very luxurious but a typical Le Marais ambience and very pleasant. If you wanna know more about LE MARAIS you can check my friend’s, Elegant Witch Blog.
8- Gaité Lyrique
I end my article on modern art museums in Paris with Gaité Lyrique, where digital artworks that have become an integral part of our lives in recent years are exhibited. The museum, which opened its doors 10 years ago in 2012, represents art that has changed and re-formed with the internet. This museum, where art branches such as painting, sculpture, dance, music and video come to life in a virtual environment, is a favorite place for Parisian youth. Relaxed, enjoyable and free. GAITE LYRIQUE, where special concerts and events are held some nights, is in the 3rd District and very close to Le Marais, just like the Picasso museum.
As I finish my article on the modern art museums of Paris, I would like to share a pleasant memory with you. About 15 years ago, I was sitting in a bistrot, whose name unfortunately I can’t remember now, and I started chatting with the owners. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I said my name and he replied, ‘We know you very well, we love your paintings and designs’. The attention and love they showed to the artist was really worth seeing. I had once again experienced the universality of art and its power to unite people. I know that no matter how individualized our lives become, art will always connect us.