See through the eyes of the oldest cultures in world! At the Musée du Quai Branly, immerse yourself in the indigenous arts of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and South Pacific. Located only a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower, visitors enter the museum through a primordial forest and navigate along a curving walkway symbolic of the world’s river. The low lighting throughout enhances the mood of the exhibitions — tribal art, masks, costumes, and instruments appear from the shadows. In the fall, you can also check out Photoquai, an exhibition of 400 contemporary photographs displayed across the street along the banks of the Seine. Concerts, theatrical events, and ateliers (workshops) are available for kids as well.
Musée du Quai Branly, 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris, France, +33 1 56 61 70 00
The Fondation Cartier explores African art in the contemporary world. In contrast to the moody, muted tones of the Musée du Quai Branly, here light pours in through the large glass windows and floods the airy open space. Boldly colored modern paintings are on display from the newest generation of Congolese artists (JP Mika, Chéri Samba, and Pierre Bodo), depicting daily life, political strife, and nightlife. On the lower level, explore more traditional mid-20th century sculptures, photography, and paintings. This unusual museum pulses and throbs with African music, allowing you get into the rhythm of the vibrant art surrounding you. Ateliers for kids are also offered, so they can sing, dance, and paint — Congolese style!
Fondation Cartier, 26 Boulevard Rapsail, 75014 Paris, France, +33 1 42 18 56 50
La Gaîté Lyrique
Opened just four years ago in a renovated Haussmann-era building, La Gaîté Lyrique‘s mission is to create a forum for the use of all transmedia (TV, video games, internet, books, and music), to see how people interact with these mediums, react to them and then interact with each other. Offering three floors of mixed-media exhibitions, two library spaces (one modern, one in the original Haussmann style), video games, and several bars, this center allows for people and kids of all ages to engage and be entertained. They even have iPads for kids to use and do their homework! Exhibitions are constantly changing, and the best part is that entry is usually gratuit (free) with the exception of special events.
La Gaîté Lyrique, 3bis Rue Papin, 75003 Paris, France, +33 1 53 01 51 51
Palais de Tokyo
Unique. Eccentric. Weird. Is that really art? What IS art? These are some of the comments and questions that you might hear as you walk through the Palais de Tokyo, Paris’s home to ultra-modern art and installations. With constantly changing exhibits by emerging artists, the Palais De Tokyo makes headlines with their always original, yet sometimes controversial works. Have you ever rowed a boat on a lake — in the middle of a museum? Well last summer the Palais’ Acquaalta exhibit by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot allowed you to do just that, in the dark, while eerie music played in the background — a sensory feast all around! So hurry up, controversy and wonder await!
Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France, +33 1 81 97 35 88
Le Centquatre (The 104)
Did you ever think there would be an indoor/outdoor ‘public art’ space in Paris that was the size of three football fields? One that’s dedicated to dance, music, theater, cinema and art? Well if you are willing to venture up to the 19th arrondissement, then you will be able to join random flash mobs, jam on a variety of instruments, and interact with the exhibits at Le Centquatre. This space is home to many ‘artists in residence’ who openly perform in its wide-open spaces. There are so many spontaneous activities that you can participate in, it’s almost sensory overload. So plan to spend a few hours and enjoy all that’s on offer.
Le Centquatre, 5 Rue Curial 75019 Paris, France, +33 1 53 35 50 00
By Ami Cadugan