Jeu de Paume National Gallery in Paris

A Superb Contemporary Arts Space Near the Tuileries

Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, 1929. Gelatin and silver print.
••• Claude Cahun, Self-portrait, 1929. Gelatin and silver print. © Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris /Parisienne de Photographie

The Jeu de Paume is one of the most important exhibition spaces in Paris dedicated to photography, video, installation, and other image-based arts. Located on the edge of the Jardin des Tuileries, adjacent to the Musee de l'Orangerie with its stunning "Nympheas" series from impressionist Claude Monet, the Jeu de Paume regularly hosts major exhibits highlighting important 20th and 21st-century photographers, video artists, filmmakers and performance artists.

In past years, temporary exhibits have included retrospectives on 20th-century lenses such as Martin Parr, Lisette Model, Richard Avedon, Germaine Krull and Claude Cahun (pictured). Film retrospectives, multimedia installations, and other exhibits regularly draw crowds at this venue, which nevertheless remains curiously off-the-radar for most tourists.

Location and Contact Information

The Jeu de Paume exhibition space is situated at the west end of the Jardin des Tuileries in the 1st arrondissement (district) of Paris, not far from the Louvre and facing the Place de la Concorde.

Access:
1 Place de la Concorde
Metro: Concorde
Main entrance via the Tuileries garden, from Rue de Rivoli. For disabled visitors, take the main garden entrance from Place de la Concorde (ramp on left).
Tel : +33 (0)1 47 03 12 50

Opening Hours and Tickets

The museum is open Tuesdays from 12pm-9pm; Wed-Fri from 12pm-7pm; Sat-Sun from 10am-7pm.

Closed on Mondays.

Tickets: Last tickets are sold 30 minutes prior to the closure of the exhibition spaces. See all current rates here.

Onsite Cafe-Restaurant: "Cuizines"

At the onsite cafe-restaurant "Cuizines", visitors can enjoy hot or cold drinks, snacks, and light meals (sandwiches, salads etc).

Sights and Attractions Nearby the Jeu de Paume

A Bit of History: 

  • The Jeu de Paume initially opened in 1862, inaugurated by Emperor  Napoléon III as a place to play the racket sport of the same name, an ancestor of modern-day tennis. The architectural style is modeled on the adjoining Orangerie. 
  • Only in the early 20th century did the venue cease to be used for the racket game, converted instead into an exhibition space. According to the museum's curators, this was the first instance in the history of Western art in which an exhibition space was created in a building not initially intended for the showing of works of art. Now, of course, the practice has become entirely common. 
  • During the Second World War, the Jeu de Paume was seized by Nazi occupying forces and used as a warehouse to hold stolen artworks. Following the war, a national committee reinstated the museum and worked to recuperate the artworks stolen by the Nazis. 
  • Between 1947 and 1986, the venue served as the city's only Impressionist museum. When the Musee d'Orsay opened, it once again changed its guise.