Musée d’Orsay in Paris

Monday, 5 December 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Paris / Île-de-France
Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Daniel Vorndran/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Daniel Vorndran/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Musée d’Orsay (English: Orsay Museum) is a museum in Paris, France, on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe.

The museum building was originally a railway station, Gare d’Orsay, located next to the Seine river. Built on the site of the Palais d’Orsay, its central location was convenient for commuting travelers. The station was constructed for the Chemin de Fer de Paris à Orléans and finished in time for the 1900 Exposition Universelle to the design of three architects: Lucien Magne, Émile Bénard and Victor Laloux. The Gare d’Orsay design was considered to be an “anachronism.” Since trains were such a modern innovation for the time architects and designers alike expected a building that would embody the modern traits of this new mode of transportation. Gare d’Orsay instead gained inspiration from the past for the concept of the facade to the point of masking the cutting-edge technology within. It was the terminus for the railways of southwestern France until 1939.

By 1939 the station’s short platforms had become unsuitable for the longer trains that had come to be used for mainline services. After 1939 it was used for suburban services and part of it became a mailing centre during World War II. It was then used as a set for several films, such as Kafka‘s The Trial adapted by Orson Welles, and as a haven for the RenaudBarrault Theatre Company and for auctioneers, while the Hôtel Drouot was being rebuilt.

Clock in the main hall © DrSocc/cc-by-3.0-us © Daniel Vorndran/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - Lunna Campos/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - Pierre Blaché Main hall © Benh/cc-by-2.5 Main hall © DiscoA340/cc-by-sa-4.0
<
>
Clock in the main hall © DrSocc/cc-by-3.0-us
In the 1970s work began on building a 1 km-long tunnel under the station as part of the creation of line C of the Réseau Express Régional with a new station under the old station. In 1970, permission was granted to demolish the station but Jacques Duhamel, Minister for Cultural Affairs, ruled against plans to build a new hotel in its stead. The station was put on the supplementary list of Historic Monuments and finally listed in 1978. The suggestion to turn the station into a museum came from the Directorate of the Museum of France. The idea was to build a museum that would bridge the gap between the Louvre and the National Museum of Modern Art at the Georges Pompidou Centre. The plan was accepted by Georges Pompidou and a study was commissioned in 1974. In 1978, a competition was organized to design the new museum. ACT Architecture, a team of three young architects (Pierre Colboc, Renaud Bardon and Jean-Paul Philippon), were awarded the contract which involved creating 20,000 square metres (220,000 sq ft) of new floorspace on four floors. The construction work was carried out by Bouygues. In 1981, the Italian architect Gae Aulenti was chosen to design the interior including the internal arrangement, decoration, furniture and fittings of the museum. The arrangement of the galleries she designed was elaborate and inhabited the three main levels that are under the museum’s barrel vault atrium. On the main level of the building, a central nave was formed by the surrounding stone structures that were previously the building’s train platforms. The central nave’s structures break up the immense sculpture and gallery spaces and provided more organized units for viewing the art. In July 1986, the museum was ready to receive its exhibits. It took 6 months to install the 2000 or so paintings, 600 sculptures and other works. The museum officially opened in December 1986 by then-president François Mitterrand.

At any time about 3,000 art pieces are on display within Musée d’Orsay. Within the museum is a 1:100 scale model created by Richard Peduzzi of an aerial view of Paris Opera and surrounding area encapsulated underneath glass flooring that viewers walk on as they proceed through the museum. This installation allows the viewers to understand the city planning of Paris at the time, which has made this attraction one of the most popular within the museum.

Another exhibit within the museum is “A Passion for France: The Marlene and Spencer Hays Collection”. This collection was donated by an Marlene and Spencer Hays, art collectors who reside in Texas and have been collecting art since the early 1970s. In 2016 the museum complied to keeping the collection of about 600 art pieces in one collection rather than dispersed throughout other exhibits. Since World War II, France has not been donated a collection of foreign art this large. The collection favors mostly post-impressionist works. Artists featured in this collection are Bonnard, Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Odilon Redon, Aristide Maillol, André Derain, Edgar Degas, and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. To make room for the art that has been donated, the Musée d’Orsay is scheduled to undergo a radical transformation over the next decade, 2020 on. This remodel is funded in part by an anonymous US patron who donated €20 million to a building project known as Orsay Grand Ouvert (Orsay Wide Open). The gift was made via the American Friends of the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie. The projected completion date is 2026, implementing new galleries and education opportunities to endorse a conductive experience.

Read more on Musée d’Orsay and Wikipedia Musée d’Orsay (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






Recommended posts:

Share this post: (Please note data protection regulations before using buttons)

Mladá Boleslav northeast of Prague

Mladá Boleslav northeast of Prague

[caption id="attachment_151514" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Old Town Square with Old Town Hall and Marian column © Sokoljan/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Mladá Boleslav is a city in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic, on the left bank of the Jizera river about 50 kilometres (31 miles) northeast of Prague. Founded in the second half of the 10th century by King Boleslav II as a royal castle. Because there already was a castle known as Boleslav near Prague, this new castle was named Mladá (yo...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Jutland - Aabenraa

Theme Week Jutland - Aabenraa

[caption id="attachment_216692" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Pedestrian zone © Arne List/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Aabenraa is a town in Southern Denmark, at the head of the Aabenraa Fjord, an arm of the Little Belt, 26 kilometres (16 mi) north of the Denmark–Germany border and 32 kilometres (20 mi) north of German town of Flensburg. It was the seat of Sønderjyllands Amt (South Jutland County) until 1 January 2007, when the Region of Southern Denmark was created as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform. W...

[ read more ]

The European Union: 2019 European Parliament election

The European Union: 2019 European Parliament election

[responsivevoice_button voice="Deutsch Female" buttontext="Diesen Beitrag vorlesen"](Latest update: 9 March 2020) From May 23 to 26, 2019, the European elections took place. By far the biggest surprise is that, despite Brexit, the United Kingdom took part in the elections because the country voted to leave the EU by a very small majority, but ultimately was not able to find the exit in time. The motto "Brexit means Brexit" is obviously not as easy to implement as the Brexiteers falsely propagated before the referendum, because the political camps define the exit very differently, making the in...

[ read more ]

Theme Week China

Theme Week China

[caption id="attachment_200945" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Giant Panda © flickr.com - Chen Wu/cc-by-2.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. According to its constitution, the People's Republic of China is "under the democratic dictatorship of th...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Panama - Yaviza

Theme Week Panama - Yaviza

[caption id="attachment_168496" align="aligncenter" width="428"] Pan-American Highway © Seaweege[/caption][/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Yaviza is a town and corregimiento in Pinogana District, Darién Province, with a population of 4,500. The town marks the southeastern end of the northern half of the Pan-American Highway, at the north end of the Darién Gap. Two major national parks exist in the Darién Gap: Darién National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Darién) in Panama and Los Katíos National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional ...

[ read more ]

Theme Week Cyclades - Paros

Theme Week Cyclades - Paros

[caption id="attachment_153470" align="aligncenter" width="443"] Paros Collage © Dimorsitanos/cc-by-sa-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Paros is a Greek island in the central Aegean Sea. One of the Cyclades island group, it lies to the west of Naxos, from which it is separated by a channel about 8 kilometres (5 miles) wide. It lies approximately 100 mi (161 kilometres) south-east of Piraeus. The Municipality of Paros includes numerous uninhabited offshore islets totaling 196.308 square kilometres (75.795 sq mi) of land. Its neares...

[ read more ]

Bushwick in New York City

Bushwick in New York City

[caption id="attachment_206076" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Brownstones and apartment buldings on Bushwick Avenue © Noremacmada[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Bushwick is a working-class neighborhood in the northern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bounded by the neighborhood of Ridgewood, Queens, to the northeast; Williamsburg to the northwest; East New York and the cemeteries of Highland Park to the southeast; Brownsville to the south; and Bedford-Stuyvesant to the southwest. The town was first fou...

[ read more ]

Town and Parish Church of St. Mary's of Lutherstadt Wittenberg

Town and Parish Church of St. Mary's of Lutherstadt Wittenberg

[caption id="attachment_168037" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Stadtkirche Wittenberg © M_H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]The Stadt- und Pfarrkirche St. Marien zu Wittenberg (Town and Parish Church of St. Mary's) is the civic church of the German town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. The reformers Martin Luther and Johannes Bugenhagen preached there and the building also saw the first celebration of the mass in German rather than Latin and the first ever distribution of the bread and wine to the congregation - it is thu...

[ read more ]

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

[caption id="attachment_167137" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Map of the Holocaust in Europe © Dennis Nilsson/cc-by-3.0[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an international memorial day on 27 January commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. It commemorates the genocide that resulted in the death of an estimated 6 million Jewish people, 200,000 Romani people, 250,000 mentally and physically disabled people, and 9,000 homosexual men by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. It was designate...

[ read more ]

Reus in Catalonia

Reus in Catalonia

[caption id="attachment_153313" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Market Square © Josep Llauradó/cc-by-sa-2.0-es[/caption][responsivevoice_button voice="UK English Female" buttontext="Listen to this Post"]Reus is the capital of Baix Camp, in the province of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain. The area has always been an important producer of wines and spirits, and gained continental importance at the time of the Phylloxera plague. Nowadays it is known by its commercial activity, for being a center for rock-climbing and as the birthplace of architect Antoni Gaudí. The origin of the name i...

[ read more ]

Return to TopReturn to Top
© Sergi Larripa/cc-by-sa-3.0
La Rambla in Barcelona

La Rambla is a street in central Barcelona. A tree-lined pedestrian street, it stretches for 1.2 km (0.75 mi) connecting...

Brownstones in Park Slope © Mikeruggy/cc-by-sa-4.0
Brownstones in New York City

Brownstone is a brown Triassic–Jurassic sandstone that was historically a popular building material. The term is also used in the...

© Ssu/cc-by-sa-4.0
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo

The National Museum of Art in Norway, also known simply as the National Museum, shortened NaM (Norwegian: Nasjonalmuseet for kunst)...

Schließen