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Arts & Museums
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!
It was Bresson's wish to start his own foundation. Today, the Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson is home to the artworks and archives of this great photographer. The foundation organizes three exhibitions per year, to showcase the talents of photographers, painters and sculptors. It also allows access to the precious archives for research purposes. If you are looking for quality art, this is where you should be.
The glass and steel building, designed by the architect Jean Nouvel, that houses the Foundation Cartier, accurately reflects the specific concept of this museum. Created in 1984, this Foundation helps contemporary artists by promoting their works and exhibits a variety of works from paintings to videos to sculptures. The famous fashion designer Issey Myiake, whose work has sometimes been controversial, is one of the great names exhibited.
These two museums present the Resistance movement and France's Liberation through the eyes of two exceptional men who came from opposite ends of the political spectrum: Maréchal Leclerc de Hautecloque (1902-1947) and Jean Moulin (1899-1943). Marshal Leclerc commanded the Division Française (the first Allied unit to enter Paris)and communist Jean Moulin was executed for being a member of the Resistance. Both museums remember the war through extensive photographic, documentary and film.
From the beginning of the postal services to the present day, the Musée de la Poste retraces the history of mail through a series of anecdotes, as well as works of art. Visitors can enjoy the evolution of communication methods right from foot messengers, to the current day email, through the various displays at the museum. Le Musée de la Poste also focuses on fine arts, writing, history and society. Don't miss the collections of first maps of roads, and the large collection of postal stamps and mail art. Call for additional information.
The Institut Pasteur buildings houses the museum dedicated to this famous chemist (1822-1895), who invented the vaccine against rabies. The visit starts with the great apartments (about ten rooms) where he lived until his death. The tour continues to an impressive room where some 1000 scientific instruments are exhibited evoking his great research work. The tour concludes with the Byzantine style funerary chapel, Louis Pasteur's resting place, which invites visitors to meditate. As a last tribute to the man and his work, there are mosaics illustrating some of his discoveries.
At the Musée du Montparnasse, conscious intention creates the museum as a space of exchange and enrichment, hosting concerts, educational activities, talks, and other events along with art exhibits. Photography exhibitions are often featured and the Espace Krajcberg hosts a permanent collection of Brazilian artist's work.
21 Maine Avenue is a mythical place in the artistic history of Montparnasse district. The most famous artists like Modigliani, Picasso, and Matisse have come here. It was almost closed in 1995, but became the property of the city of Paris and was then dedicated to cultural schemes. Immanence, which opened in 2000, is an exhibition place for young contemporary creations and works as a springboard for young artists.
Opened in 1949, Musée Bourdelle was originally Antoine Bourdelle's workshop. He accomplished most of his work on display here over the course of 40 years. Extensions were built in 1961, but it is specifically the 1992 extension, made by Christian de Portzamparc, which enabled the exhibition of all of Bourdelle's works. Over 500 creations — bronzes, plasters, marbles and paintings — are displayed in the museum's rooms and garden. Temporary exhibitions, organized several times a year, enable visitors to discover other artists such as Luciano Fabro, Claude Rutault and Didier Vermeiren. In addition to guided tours, there is a workshop for children where they can create their own sculptures. If you make an appointment, you can have access to the documentation room.
This museum is the former studio of the sculptor Ossip Zadkine and comprises around 100 pieces bequeathed by his widow. Of Russian origins, the artist established himself in Paris in 1909. Disappointed by the academic education he received in London and Paris, he turned to other sources of inspiration. Rodin, Roman and Gothic statues, as well as African art became models in his quest to adapt to the third dimension of the aesthetic principles of cubism. Rather than offering revolutionary discoveries, he preferred to use the traditional methods to create his masterpieces.
Formerly located in the 3rd arrondissement, Studio 55 has recently settled in the 15th near the Bourdelle museum. Studio 55 is a contemporary urban art gallery specialized in street art, where famous and not so famous artists, all coming from city culture, exhibit their art. This place does not use the concept of gallery anymore, but has become a showroom showing, every first Wednesday of the month, at noon – when the Parisian sirens blow – the last creations and shortly delivered pieces of art.
This gallery is located in the famed Manufacture des Gobelins, which is a tapestry manufacturing factory, the history of which can be traced back to the 17th century. Beautiful paintings painstakingly created using the art of tapestry can be found on display here. This gallery is used as an exhibition space for various contemporary exhibitions and shows.