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Posts tagged ‘Art’

No. 115: Le Musée du quai Branly

You know you are a very spoiled museumgoer when you sometimes just need a break from ‘western’ art and want to be reminded that the rest of the world is filled with spectacular art and artists.

Louvre

Louvre

That’s where le musée du quai Branly comes in.

quai-branly-2

I am extremely fortunate because this striking contemporary building and collection is right at my doorstep. Set among a massive diverse garden, the museum showcases and celebrates the colorful and native arts and objects from Oceania, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

musée Branly Quai Branly Museum

Vocabulaire: 

le musée du quai Branly: the Quai Branly Museum; 37, quai Branly, 75007 Paris

 

No. 69: l’artisan, Maison Légeron: It’s in the Details

IMG_3538Recently I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to tour an atelier of another unique group of artisans, la maison Légeron.

La Maison Légeron is home to a handful of talented craftspeople (mostly women) that skillfully turn silk into flowers and ostrich feather into finery and create intricate accessories seemingly out of thin air. They do this for the prestigious fashion houses of Paris, Dior, Givenchy, Chanel, Courreges, Ungaro, Lacroix, as well as a number of extremely wealthy clients from around the world.

You might say these are the artisans who take care of the details.

Founded in 1727, Légeron’s handiwork has dazzled the ballrooms of the royals, decorated the bridal gowns of heiresses and princesses, walked the red carpet in Hollywood, and graced the catwalks of all major fashion houses this year.

Their work is rooted in tradition and trusted only to highly trained and certified artists. From the dyeing of each individual flower petal to the sewing of every last bead, it is all done by hand. The results are exquisite and delicate, one-of-a-kind creations, lovingly designed and equally as suited for the Museum of Decorative Arts as for a Chanel gown.

I love baring witness to petite moments of pure imagination and creativity.

Perhaps in my next life I’ll come back as one of these gifted artisans and spend my days creating beauty for the sake of beauty, and making sure that the details shine.

No. 13: Art as a Necessity

IMG_3923Last night was nuit blanche in Paris—the annual October evening where the whole city of Paris plays host to an all-night arts and cultural fête. This year, and I am kicking myself for somehow missing this seemingly impossible-to-miss spectacle, the night commencé avec four helicopters flying over Paris, each one containing one member of a string quartet, playing an avant-garde melody, joyfully broadcast into the night.

Having missed that, Superman and I did finally get our act together around 23h and joined in, strolling hand-in-hand through the warm autumn night.

Along with thousands of our closest friends, we spent the evening and early hours of the morn wondering through the streets exploring the contemporary art scene and stumbling upon all sorts of artistic expression. The white night included fantastical arts installations, live music and dance performances, films and performance art, fog sculptures, light shows, colossal playgrounds, and hands-on art workshops for children or those with le coeur d’enfant.

Musée du quai Branly, nuit blanche

Musée du quai Branly, nuit blanche

les berges, nuit blanche

les berges, nuit blanche

Museums, art galleries, cultural centers, cafés and restaurants stayed open all night, and hundreds of other events were on offer free of charge. The city center, like Cinderella’s pumpkin, was magically transformed into a sparkling gala, dedicated uniquely to art. Along the Seine curious art installations materialized out of the mist, and throngs of young people gyrated to the pulse of the night. At midnight a dazzling pyrotechnic display filled the sky.

Watching the planned parties and impromptu merrymaking overflow into the streets, I felt so incredibly lucky to be part of a place that values and celebrates art and creative expression, and feels sure that art is not just frivolous, but necessary.

Vocabulaire:

commencé avec: began with

le coeur d’enfant: a heart of a child

Nuit blanche: white night, light night; an annual all-night or night-time arts festival

Passer une nuit blanche: to have a sleepless night, to pull an all nighter, stay up all night