Powered by Jasper Roberts - Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Artful Traveler: Musée d'Orsay –
Renewed, Refreshed, Remarkable

The Musée d’Orsay in Paris, home to a spectacular collection of Impressionist masterpieces and other late 19th and early 20th Century artworks, has reopened all of its galleries to the public after two years of extensive renovation and a dramatic rethinking and rearrangement of its holdings.
Housed in a 1900 Beaux-Arts railway station and boldly transformed into a museum in 1986, the d’Orsay has become one of the most popular attractions in the City of Lights. More than 60 million have visited over the past two and one-half decades.

New Musee d'Orsay galleries

What has changed?

For one, the ubiquitous white walls are a thing of the past. In their place are deep purple, midnight blue, red and lavendar-grey ones that critics feel are more hospitable to the vivid colors of the Impressionist works on display.

Lighting has been redesigned throughout. There is more natural light in some galleries, while the sometimes harsh natural light in other rooms has been replaced with a carefully designed artificial scheme that shows off the paintings to better effect.

Musee d'Orsay Main Hall

Unchanged, Gae Aulenti's 1986 main hall
Some of the ceilings have been removed to reveal structural beams in a nod to the building’s original industrial purpose.

Exhibition space has been expanded considerably, allowing more of the world's largest collection of Impressionist works to be shown.

What has not changed is the museum's impressive, massive arched main hall, designed by the Italian architect Gae Aulenti.

The renovations are the work of four architectural firms.

Noteworthy is the stylish Café de l’Horloge, also known as the Cafe Campana and described as an aquatic Jules Verne-inspired fantasy. It's housed in a former clock tower. Brazil’s Campana design duo is responsible for the transformation.

What's for lunch? Who cares!
Still, the main draw at the d’Orsay are its art treasures from the likes of Manet, Rodin, Courbet, Van Gogh, and Gaugin – paintings and sculptures that reside not merely in a former railway station but live on in our collective cultural memory and continue to enthrall and inspire, even as we hurtle into the vast unknown of this 21st century.

For more on the Musee d”orsay click here.
To see our other posts on Paris, click here.

Closer to home: Two singular exhibitions featuring Impressionist masterpieces have just opened in the U.S.

Atlanta’s High Museum is offering more than 100 works of art borrowed from the Museum of Modern Art in a show they are calling “Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters.” On view until April 29, it aims to reveal the connections and deep influences between modern masters of the past century.

Tip: Don't miss the Maple Bacon Brittle ice cream at Morelli's on Moreland Ave.. For more on what to do in Atlanta, read this.
At the Milwaukee Art Museum, “Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper” includes more than 100 pastels watercolors, and drawings by Degas, Monet, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and others. The comprehensive overview is said to be the first of its kind in the U.S. It runs through Jan. 8.

While in Milwaukee, be sure to sample the dense, sticky, chewy Morning Buns, hard to find outside of this part of the country. And, as you may well fly through Chicago, you’ll want to stop at the extraordinary Art Institute for Seurat’s “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” This large, absorbing masterwork enchants and mesmerizes – no matter how many times you have seen it.

No comments :

Post a Comment