Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paris Day, um...: Les Musées

Ok, I have got to get through the rest of my Paris posts, because life goes on, you know?  We're getting loads of sweet Sungold cherry tomatoes from the garden, Miss Chef has started a new quarter at school and Rosie has begun shedding already.  There will be too much to catch up on if I don't get going here.

So, on to our next day in Paris: Museum Day!  I'll give you a little background, and then hit you with the pictures.

As I mentioned earlier, we had sprung for four-day Paris museum passes.  We'd used them at the Arc de Triomphe, the Sainte Chapelle and the Rodin Museum so far.  The way our schedule was working out, it would be easiest to do several museums in one day.  I know it sounds like a bit much, but compared to spending all day walking outside in 98-degree weather for kilometers on end, it seemed like a relaxing day to us!

The Louvre was at the top of Miss Chef's list, because on her only other trip to Paris, she'd been on a group tour that drove by on a bus several times, but never went in!  I warned her that I could only handle two hours or so in there, but she just wanted to get a taste.  We had walked through the outer courtyards our first morning in Paris, and it was a revelation to her as to just how enormous the place was.

So we were not planning on "doing" the Louvre, just stopping in to say hello.  You'll see from the pictures that we didn't bother pushing through the crowds to get super-close to the famous works.  I'd already seen them, and Miss Chef doesn't do crowds!

I also wanted to see the Cluny Museum of the medieval ages, mostly to see the tapestry of the Lady and the Unicorn, after having read the book by Tracy Chevalier.  And partly because it was one of the few major museums in Paris I hadn't seen yet.  I really enjoyed it more than I expected; there are a ton of beautiful stained glass windows recovered from many famous churches and cathedrals, including Notre Dame.  Although it was quite well documented, it was all in French, so it was a bit frustrating for Miss Chef.

Our third stop was the Georges Pompidou Museum of Modern Art.  This was due to the strong recommendations from some of the instructors at the Art Institute.  I'm one of those who just doesn't get modern art, but Miss Chef has been toying with the idea of learning more about design in general, to see if she can apply it to her teaching.  Plus, she's just naturally curious and felt that she could learn quite a bit, since she hadn't had much exposure to modern art.  I had visited the Pompidou once, but didn't have many memories of the experience.  So, why not try again?

So that was the order of our visit...and rather than wear you down with a blow-by-blow, I've prepared a little photo album for you!  Hit the || at the bottom if you want to stop the slideshow and browse at your own pace.  The album turned out much smaller than I realized, but you can click each picture to make it bigger and then smaller again.  There are only a few photos from the Cluny Museum, because it was rather dark (and I was really tired, hot and a bit cranky, ok?)

So enjoy the show, and afterwards, I'll share Miss Chef's favorite story with you!

Click to play this Smilebox photo album

So, Miss Chef's story...we did the Pompidou Museum in the evening, around 7 pm.  We had taken a bit of a break at the apartment beforehand, but my feet were still quite sore.  While Miss Chef was intently perusing one gallery, I told her, "I'm going to go sit on that bench over there for a while."

Now in front of that bench happened to be this painting:

I stared and stared, because I was tired, and you know how your mind can do strange when Miss Chef came to me, I said to her, "I have no idea what the name of this is, but I'm calling it "Hippie in a Canoe: Up a Creek Without a Paddle."

Miss Chef smiled; she liked my title.  Then she went over to the label on the wall next to the painting to learn more about it.  When she came back, she said, "Well, it's called '100 Years Ago: 2001,' but actually, you're right--it's a painting of a hippie in a canoe!"

Maybe I do get modern art, after all.

If you want to learn more about the painting and the artist, click here.


  1. The museum pictures made my back hurts, my feet ache and instilled a sense of crankiness. LOL

  2. I absolutely love the smilebox album. I've never seen that before; must steal that technique. I like the melting bike 'cause I know just how it feels.

  3. I'm with Miss Chef - I don't like crowds! Oh, I dealt with them when I was younger, but no more. I was delighted with the slide show, especially as I don't expect to ever get there myself.

    Thank you!!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  4. I am so late getting caught up on your trip! Thanks for holding the bus for me! I liked your title for the painting on the bench too!


Thanks for dropping by--please share your thoughts!

"Every time we get comment mail, Rosie wags her tail!" (Seriously, you should see that puffy thing go.)