First opened in 1961 as part of efforts to better accommodate the modern art collections of the Petit Palais, the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is housed in a building created for the 1937 International Art and Technical Exhibition. It's part of the contemporary arts exhibition space known as the Palais de Tokyo.
The permanent collection, free to the public, houses major works from artists including Matisse, Bonnard, Derain, and Vuillard, as well as large-format murals from Robert and Sonia Delaunay and others. It explores developments in contemporary arts from the early 20th century to the present day. Especially for visitors interested in avant-garde movements in art and contemporary creation, a trip here is recommended.
Location and Contact Information:
11 avenue du Président Wilson
Metro/RER: Alma-Marceau or Iena; RER Pont de l'Alma (Line C)
Tel : +33 (0)1 53 67 40 00
Opening Hours and Tickets:
The museum is open between Tuesday and Sunday, 10am-6pm. Ticket office closes at 5:45 pm. Closed Mondays and French public holidays.
Thursdays open until 10:00 pm (exhibitions only). Ticket counters close at 5:15 pm (9:15 pm on Thursdays.
Tickets: Admission to the permanent collections and displays is free of charge for all visitors. Entry prices vary for temporary thematic exhibits: call ahead or check their website. Entry to temporary shows is free for visitors under 13.
Nearby Sights and Attractions:
The Museum is in close range of some of West Paris' most popular attractions, as well as quieter neighborhoods well worth exploring. These include:
- Palais de Tokyo (adjoining contemporary arts museum)
- Passy and the 16th Arrondissement
- Maison de Balzac
- Eiffel Tower
Highlights of the Permanent Exhibit at the Musee d'Art Moderne:
The permanent collection at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is divided into chronological blocks exploring the development of various movements and trends in contemporary art, spanning from 1901 through the present.
This section includes major works from the Fauvist, Cubist, Post-Cubist and Orphic movements in painting, with highlights from artists Delauney and Léger. A wing dedicated to Surrealism features works by Picabia, while another consecrated to the "School of Paris" exhibits works with bolder figuration and lines.
Starting with the 1960s, this newer wing of the museum reflects more recent acquisitions. Galleries trace movements from New Realism, Fluxus, or Narrative Figuration, as well as abstract art movements. Major works from names like Deschamps, Klein, Roth, Soulages, and Nemours punctuate the galleries, as well as works from more experimental but lesser-known artists who pushed the boundaries of form, color, and medium. The contemporary tour accords special attention to how artists after the 1960s increasingly sought to break the boundaries between traditional mediums and to play "subversively" with traditional codes and discourse. Painting, video, sculpture, photo, and other mediums are employed in nontraditional and surprising ways in many of these works.
The basement level houses the Boltanski Gallery (with works from the eponymous artist); the Salle Noire features contemporary video works from artists such as Absalon, Pilar Albaraccin, Fikret Atay, Rebecca Bournigault, and Rosemarie Trockel.
In addition to these primary sections, the permanent collection houses galleries dedicated to painters Matisse and Dufy and other works by contemporary artists.