Sunday, April 1, 2012

Orsay Renovation Complete: Success? Yes.

The Musee d'Orsay has reopened the redesigned Impressionist Galleries and the new spaces are stunning. In a rather radical departure from the prior light color scheme in the galleries, the walls are now painted a deep grey colour which showcases the paintings remarkably well.

The Van Gogh collection is now on a lower floor. And there is a new gallery on the top floor for temporary shows that are of the era of the French art in the Orsay but not French. At present there is an exhibition of works by a Finnish artist that is one of those surprisingly beautiful shows that delights.

The Orsay is still open late on Thursday nights and you can buy a combo pass (to be used in the same day) with the nearby Rodin Museum. Also on the Paris Museum Card...

Springtime at the Petit Palais

The Petit Palais is not as well known as it should be. A lovely (free) City of Paris museum located just off the Champs Elysees and across from the Grand Palais, this is a small gem of a museum with varied collections (paintings, sculpture, gorgeous Russian Icons, art nouveau glass). Best of all, with Paris' early spring the center courtyard is a riot of blooming shrubs and trees, making for a tranquil pause in the midst of all the surrounding urbanity. The cafe has good salads and sandwiches, the usual beverages, and you can enjoy a drink or light meal outside in this protected, verdant oasis.

Just across the street, the Grand Palais is home to a hot new exhibition on Helmut Newton.