Sunday, November 27, 2011

Musée des Arts Décoratifs

One of the drawbacks to living in Paris is the fact that we are living in an pre-furnished apartment.  Don't get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining.... I love our apartment. But living in a place that we cannot make our own is tiring, especially since we are surrounded by some of the most exquisite furniture in the world.  Which leads me to my point, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

This museum has somehow eluded me for the past eleven months, not to mention the several trips to Paris before I actually lived here.  I think there is a misconception that it is part of the Louvre, which in fact it is not.  The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is a museum that looks at French interior design over the past seven centuries with a detailed focus on the 16th through 18th centuries.  For anyone remotely interested in antiques and/or home decor of any kind, you would enjoy a trip to this well done museum.

A few practical highlights:  25 and younger get in free (and apparently the woman behind the counter didn't realize 1985 means I am 26), it is housed in one of the wings of the Louvre, but it is a separate museum requiring a separate ticket, and my favorite part - the audio-guide is included in the ticket price.

The tour begins in the 16th century....

Followed by the Rococo period.

And finally, the late 18th century.  This style is what comes to mind when I think of French antiques.

My favorite part of the museum was the wall of chairs.  If you ask me, there is nothing more quintessentially French than a beautiful 18th century chair.  (I learned this from my mother-in-law years ago, but now I am even more convinced).  True perfection!

The faience was another favorite.  The city of Rouen was most famous for their early production work. 


The museum continues on through the 21st century and it's interesting to compare the design of the 20th and 21st century to those of the earlier years, as history no longer plays the role that it once did.  After my trip to Musée des Arts Décoratifs, I have a new respect for the quality of French craftsmanship and a deeper understanding of design from the past.  The pictures clearly don't do it justice, so take a visit for yourself if you can!

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