Paris Art Happenings This Spring and Summer Tuesday, Apr 26 2011 

It’s travel season and one of the biggest draws when visiting Paris is, of course, art. I have put together a short list of some of the big exhibitions going on in the City of Light now through mid-summer.

When planning your travel to France, keep in mind that the main cultural calendars for art, music and dance around the country begin in September and run through June or early July. This means that many of the most prominent art exhibitions wrap up before the French go on summer vacation in August. A few shows do continue into August and September since people like art all year round.

But there’s plenty to see now culture-wise so if you’ve got a Paris visit planned, check out what artistic goodies are on view through the summer with the selected art guide below:

Around the time of the Impressionists

Manet, the Man who Invented Modernity  / Manet, Inventeur du Moderne at the Musée d’Orsay
Even though the Musée d’Orsay is undergoing partial renovation, notably of its Impressionist galleries, this temple of 19th century art of still open for visitors. it is hosting the first exhibit in nearly 20 years dedicated to Edouard Manet. It focuses on the historical influences of the time and illuminates the artist who has had a profound impact modern art.
Through July 3, 2011
Musée d’Orsay, 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris 7th
Métro: Solférino
Admission: €10
www.musee-orsay.fr 

Musee dorsay compressed

The Caillebotte Brothers’ Private World, Painter and Photographer / Dans l’Intimité des Frères Caillebotte, Peintre et Photographe at the Musée Jacquemart-André
This jewelbox of a decorative arts museum hosts small, well-curated exhibitions. Now through July 11, the Jacquemart-André museum is the first in the world to showcase an encounter between Gustave Caillebotte’s Impressionist paintings of Paris and his brother Martial Caillebotte’s photographs of the same images. The exhibition is a mesmerizing tribute to the two artists and their ability to capture Paris at a time of intense change.
Through July 11, 2011
Location: Musée Jacquemart-André, 158 blvd Haussmann, Paris 8th
Métro: Saint Augustin, Miromesnil or Saint Philippe du Roule
Admission: €10
www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com

Paris at the Time of the Impressionists / Paris aux Temps des Impressionnistes at the Hotel de Ville
One of the best kept art secrets in Paris is the free exhibitions at the Paris Town Hall. You have to enter on the back (east) side of the building and sometimes endure long lines but their art exhibitions are worth it. Currently, you can take in views of Paris as it changed dramatically between 1850 and 1914. Works by Impressionist artists including Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte, Pissarro, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Signac, Bonnard and Vuillard are included—these paintings are all on loan from the nearby Musée d’Orsay which is partially closed for renovation.
Through July 30, 2011
Location: Hôtel de Ville, 5 rue Lobau, Paris 4th
Métro: Hôtel de Ville
Admission: Free

Odilon Redon, Prince du Rêve 1840–1916 at the Grand Palais
Redon was a contemporary of the Impressionists but painted in a dreamlike and surrealist manner. This show of about 270 works traces the evolution of his painting from dark tones and subjects to color and light.
Through June 20, 2011
Location: Grand Palais, Paris 8th
Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau
Admission: €11
www.rmn.fr

Earlier Art

Nature and the Ideal / Landscape Painting in 17th Century Rome / Nature et Idéal: Le Paysage à Rome, 1600–1650 at the Grand Palais
If you are into landscape painting, then you won’t want to miss this intriguing exhibition which catalogues the rise of landscape painting in early 17th-century Rome. It was during this time that nature became a subject in its own right. Light and atmosphere figure heavily in these lovely works by Carracci, Lorrain, Poussin, Rubens and others.
Through June 6, 2011
Location: Grand Palais, Paris 8th
Métro: Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau
Admission: €11
www.rmn.fr

Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus / Rembrandt et la figure du Christ at the Louvre Museum
The artistic genius of Rembrandt is evident in this exhibition devoted to portrayals of Christ.  Discarding formulaic images of the Son of God, Rembrandt explores Christ the man rising above the theological quarrels and dissensions of his day.
Through July 18, 2011
Location: Louvre Museum, Paris 8th
Admission: €11
http://www.louvre.fr/

Cranach and His Time / Cranach et Son Temps at the Musée du Luxembourg
The Musée du Luxembourg in the Luxembourg Gardens of Paris features 16th century and modern art on an alternating basis. Currently, the paintings, drawings and engravings by Lucas Cranach, one of the greatest artists of the German Renaissance, are featured. Cranach is one of the most original and talented artists of the 16th century and this exhibition of his refined and elegant art is a must-see.
Through May 23, 2011
Location: Musée du Luxembourg, 19 rue de Vaugirard, Paris 6th
Métro: Odéon
Admission: €11
www.museeduluxembourg.fr

The Sword: Uses, Myths and Symbolism / L’Epée: Usages, Mythes et Symboles at the Cluny Museum
This exhibition celebrates the sword as a weapon, fashion accessory and confirmation of power. It includes arms belonging to Joan of Arc and other powerful French historical figures.
Through September 26, 2011
Location: Musée de Cluny, 6 pl Paul Painlevé, Paris 5th
Métro: Cluny
Admission: €8.50
www.musee-moyenage.fr

“Fashion” and Fashion

Women in the East as Seen by Christian Lacroix/ L’Orient des femmes vu par Christian Lacroix at the Musée du quai Branly
Famous couture designer Christian Lacroix is no stranger to the museum scene. After wonderful exhibitions of his fashion collections at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Musée Réattu in Arles, Provence, in the last few years, Lacroix has selected an amazing collection of traditional costumes and accessories from the Near East for display at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris.
Through May 15, 2011
Musée du quai Branly, 37, quai Branly , Paris 7th
Admission: 8, 5 €
www.quaibranly.fr/en/

AFFICHE ORIENT DES FEMMES

Madame Grès, la Couture à l’Oeuvre at the Musée Bourdelle
For those really interested in true fashion, the Musée Galliera, the city’s fashion museum that is currently closed for renovation, has organized an exhibit of haute couture by Germaine Krebs (1903–1993), known as Madame Grès. The first retrospective ever dedicated to Madame Grès, it highlights her motto and raison d’être: « Je voulais être sculpteur. Pour moi, c’est la même chose de travailler le tissu ou la pierre » (“I wanted to be a sculpteur. For me, it’s the same to find my expression in fabric or in stone”).
Through July 24, 2011
Location: Musée Bourdelle, 16 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris 15th
Métro: Falguière
Admission: €7
www.bourdelle.paris.fr

French Affaires Book Club 2011-2012 Thursday, Apr 21 2011 

Do you love books about France and the French? So do we!

Join us for our unique French book club as we meet quarterly to read and discuss books on French culture, art, cuisine, wine, language, and travel. Our meeting locations and hosts tie to each month’s book theme which makes our gatherings and events especially rich.

At each meeting, we’ll enjoy French themed food and beverages and hear from our hosts / speakers about their ‘French connection’ to our book. Then Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz will facilitate a lively discussion about our book selection. And we’ll close with French Affaires’ signature “If you liked this book, then you’ll also like…”

Whether or not one has finished the book, our book club gathering is interesting, informative and delicious. Perfect for any Francophile wanting to enjoy casual conversation in English about great books on France and the French.

JUNE

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Inès de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet

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“You don’t need to be born in Paris to have Parisian style. Parisian style is an attitude, a state of mind…” So begins our French book pick for June. Author, former face of Chanel, ex-runway model, designer, illustrator and business woman, Inès de la Fressange describes the secrets of the chic Parisian woman. She shares her best advice and tips on how to dress and develop one’s own beauty—French-style. She also includes her favorite resources in Paris for shopping, hotels, restaurants, excursions and more.

We’ll meet for our June book discussion at the very stylish Paper & Chocolate boutique in Dallas. Owner and creative spirit Vicki Petersen will host our gathering and tell us how she collects the wonderfully French objects, gifts and chocolates in her shop. We’ll enjoy a wine and cheese reception as part of our book club night and of course, there will be the opportunity to shop for French treasures!

Date: Monday, June 27
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Refreshments: Wine & cheese reception
Location: Paper & Chocolate, 5460 West Lovers Lane, Suite 236, Dallas Texas 75209
(Directly behind the Inwood Theatre), www.paperandchocolate.com

AUGUST
The Red & the Black by Stendhal

Red and the black

Our August book is some of the best of classic French literature. The Red and the Black by Stendhal is a towering example of 19th century French novel writing. Decades ahead of its time, The Red and the Black recounts the saga of a provincial young man determined to change his destiny in prominent social and religious circles. With its psychological portrait of the protagonist and biting social commentary, The Red and the Black remains a compelling work of literature even today.

We will gather for our book discussion at The Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture where we will be joined by its Executive Director, Dr. Larry Allums. A literary specialist and humanities guru, Dr. Allums will lead our discussion of The Red and the Black and will give us his thoughts on the book as a work of literature. If you have never been to the Dallas Institute, you are in for a real cultural treat!

Date: Monday, August 29, 2011
Time: 7 to 8:30pm
Refreshments: French desserts & liqueurs
Location: The Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture, 2719 Routh Street, Dallas, Texas 75201 www.dallasinstitute.org