With its myriad museums, galleries and foundations, Paris is undoubtedly one of the world's art capitals. While in the city, a visit to the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay or the Grand Palais obliges for the museums' majestic architecture as well as their vast high-brow art exhibitions, however Paris has many other venues worth the detour for art lovers – and without the queues.
Strolling around Paris during the Fête du Graphisme
Taking place from 7th January until 4th March throughout Paris, the second edition of the Fête du Graphisme explores the overlap between graphic design and art. This year the theme is 'Celebrating the Earth', which echoes the COP21 climate change conferences due to take place in Paris at the end of the year.
In celebration of this lesser known art form, the designs of 40 graphic designers from all over the world like Alejandro Magallanes from Mexico commissioned for the event banner, are displayed on billboards throughout the city with a special itinerary along the Champs-Elysées. As part of the festival there is an exhibition at the Cité Internationale des Arts, as well as various other events including parties, workshops and roundtable discussions. For all the events taking place see the Fête du Graphisme website.
The all-new Philharmonie de Paris Museum of Music
The new concert hall might be two years late and three times over budget, but the gleaming Jean Nouvel designed building is the latest cultural attraction to open in Paris. Not only is the new space equipped with a state-of-the-art concert hall but it also has a museum with permanent and temporary exhibitions spread over 2000 sq ft. The museum's collection comprises 7,000 works, 1,000 of which are on display.
The permanent exhibition, which includes paintings, models of concert halls, and various instruments displayed chronologically, also comprises a piano that belonged to Chopin and French singer-songwriter George Brassens' guitar. The museum presents a history of Western music from the seventeenth century to the present and an overview of the main musical cultures of the world. The museum's first temporary exhibition, a cultural highlight for Paris, will be a tribute to David Bowie with a show that was presented at London's Victoria & Albert museum in 2013. The exhibition will run from 3rd March until 31st May and tickets are already on sale.
Philharmonie de Paris - Musée de la Musique
221 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, Tel: +33 (0)1 44 84 44 84, www.philharmoniedeparis.fr/en
The reopening of the Musée National Gustave Moreau
After a six-month closure, the intimate and extremely atmospheric museum reopened its doors last week. Well-loved by locals, the museum transcends all time. Inside this hushed atelier with its elegantly winding staircase that has been so often photographed, visitors can completely immerse themselves in the mind of Gustave Moreau, a French 19th-century Symbolist painter. Moreau himself transformed his family home into a museum for displaying his works. Spread over the three levels, some 1,200 paintings and 4,000 drawings are on display. His work is particularly influenced by Romanticism and portrays surrealist scenes from the Bible and myths of Antiquity.
His aim was to create something where the soul would find 'all the aspirations of a dream, tenderness, love, enthusiasm and religious elevation to higher spheres, where everything is high, powerful, moral, nurturing, and where everything is focused on the joy of imagination, succumbing to its every whim and flight to far away sacred, unknown and mysterious lands.' With its hardwood floors underpinning this vast lofty space filled with dreams conjured up by the artist's imagination, the museum merits visitors' full attention.
Musée National Gustave Moreau
14 rue de La Rochefoucauld 75009 Paris, Tel: +33 (0)1 48 74 38 50, www.musee-moreau.fr