Destinations Magazine

Reopening of Picasso Museum

By Eyepreferparis88 @eyepreferparis

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After almost an endless string of delays lasting over five years, The Picasso Museum finally reopened last October. It came with much controversy and drama as the head of the museum was fired over the delays in a bitter battle between the Picasso family and the museum. Sorely missed as a top attraction in the Marais, it’s in full swing again with long waits to enter. I purposely waited till the New Year and went in March when all the hubbub died down and there weren’t hoards of people hogging the viewing space.
The museum, a former hotel de particulier built in 1659, was one of the grandest palaces in the Marais and called the Hotel de Salé, as the owner Pierre Aubert was a salt tax farmer. The building was sold many times over but the longest reign was from 1792 to 1962, privately owned by the same family and housed various institutions including the Ganser-Beuzelin boarding school, where Balzac studied; the municipal École centrale des arts et manufactures (prestigious engineering school) and in 1944, it was occupied by the City of Paris École des Métiers d’Art. It was sold to the city in 1964 and restored from 1974-1979. After Picasso’s death in 1973, the family quickly decided in 1974 to donate his work in lieu of paying the exorbitant estate taxes. Working in tandem with the family, Michel Guy, French Secretary of State for Culture, they chose the Hotel Salé as the space for the museum.

One of the most important changes to the museum was the gallery space was almost doubled, as the offices were moved to a newly constructed building next door. Obviously the expansion allowed for many more works from the collection to be shown than before which is a welcome plus. Organized in an almost chronological order, it traces Picasso’s process. I started in the basement, which was a mix of early paintings and sculptures and one room was devoted to photos of the many studios and homes in Paris and France where Picasso lived and painted. The main floor had some of Picasso’s most iconic paintings including a single room with Demoiselles d’Avignon and I especially loved seeing The Guitars series and the cubist paper sculptures.

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After many rooms of austere white walls with no character except for the white iron Giacometti light fixtures it was a welcome sight to see the extravagant staircase surrounded by limestone angels and cherubs, showing off the original beauty of the mansion. Picasso was an art collector himself and his collection of the works of his peers such as Matisse, Cézanne, Modigliani, and Miro is exhibited on the third floor.
The museum has opened a small, cramped café with not so good food (better for a coffee or snack) on the second floor, which has a spacious outdoor terrace overlooking the romantic rooftops of the Marais and also close up views of the wonderful architecture of the limestone gem.
Musée Picasso Paris
5 rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris
museepicassoparis.fr
Open Tues-Fri 11:30am-6pm; Sat-Sun 9:30am-6pm

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My ode to Cubism

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COOKBOOK-LOGO-little
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 195 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
 

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Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more.  In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.

Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.

 Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com 

Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour

 


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