15 Photos That Will Make You Want To Visit The Centre Pompidou in Paris

by Lindsay Shapka in , , , ,


There are A LOT of museums in Paris, and it is impossible to see them all on your first, second, or even third visit to the city.

In fact, I didn't make it to the Centre Pompidou until my third time to the city — and was that ever a mistake! Not only is the exterior of the building a must-see, the museum is home to over 100,000 works created in the 20th and 21st centuries, and an INCREDIBLE view. 

A brief history of the museum

In 1969, the French president, Georges Pompidou, decided that there needed to be a new building to host the national modern art museum, a public reading library, and new music concerts.

The site for the new museum was chosen, and a worldwide architectural competition was announced attracting 681 competitors from 49 different countries!

Architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers won the competition for their “evolving spatial diagram” design allowing the whole of each 7,500 m2 floor to be used to display art and be organized however the curators see fit. According to the museum website, “[i]ts innovative, even revolutionary character has made the Centre Pompidou one of the most emblematic buildings of the 20th century.”

The museum opened on February 2, 1977, and since then has been one of the most visited monuments in France.  

What you are going to see 

Considered to be Europe’s leading collection of modern and contemporary art (from 1905 until the present day), there are some seriously big names housed in this museum — Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, and Yves Klein to name just a few.

You’ll see all forms of media: paintings, drawing, photography, new media, experimental film, architecture, design, industrial work, and more! (Check out the photos below for some seriously cool pieces.)

Getting there and getting in

Location: The museum is located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, in the Beaubourg area. It is within walking distance to the river, Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, and the Marais. 
You can get there easily by metro, RER, bus, car, bicycle, foot, and however else you like to move!

Opening Hours: The museum is open every day (except Tuesdays when it is closed all day) from 11 am to 10 pm, but the exhibitions close at 9 pm.

Admission: A single ticket for admission to all galleries and the "View of Paris" is €14; a ticket just to see the "View of Paris" (no access to the galleries) is €5.
Admission is FREE to all areas of the museum on the first Sunday of every month. 

It's impossible to miss the building that houses the Centre Pompidou. Covered in colorful pipes on one side (in blue, red, green, and yellow), and the zig-zag of elevators on the other there is no mistaking it. 

This is the view (above) of the building from Rue Beaubourg, where you can enter the public reading library. The public entrance to the museum is located on the other side of the building. 

You don't have to actually buy a ticket to enter the main floor of the building, which gives you access to the cafe, fantastic museum shops, public washrooms (for those of you who just need a bathroom break), and some fun art installations, like the sculpture pictured above. 

There is always at least one visiting exhibition at the gallery, like the works of André Derain, who was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of the Fauvism movement with Henri Matisse. 

The work pictured above by Derain seemed to glow from inside the canvas (and no, it wasn't just because of the light shining on it). 

Called the Tete blanche et rose, this work by Henri Matisse looks deceptively like a Picasso. 

And then there is the Femmes deviant la mer, a gorgeous piece by Picasso.

The Centre Pompidou actually has an incredible collection of works by Picasso, even more impressive than the Picasso Museum located only a few blocks away! 

This piece by Frantisek Kupka, Plans par couleurs, was located in one of my favourite sub-rooms in the gallery that was filled with portraits of women from the most abstract to the most detailed. 

I am so in love with any black and white piece that looks like the artist moved his hand back and forth in one big flourish and then called it a day.

I'm not kidding.

This is seriously one of my favorites. 

There is just something about this work.

It is like a mix between Girl With A Pearl Earring and Grand Odalisque, which is probably why artist Martial Raysse called it Made In Japan - la grande odalisque.  

No contemporary art collection would be complete without a work by Andy Warhol. This black and white version of Elizabeth Taylor is so long that it covered an entire wall! 

The floor filled with sculptural art installations like the one above is an Instagram dream! 

See-through cubes against a black and white wall — yup.

I love modern art. 

So, from this side, this sculpture looks like an emotional, heartfelt embrace. On the other side, however, the woman is making out with another man. 

Yup. 

Modern art. 

I had to stop myself from taking too many photos on this floor, as ever piece had a huge impact, including this work of colorful subway-tile-style squares. 

The one thing that I did not expect to see at this world-renowned museum was the incredible view!

As a visitor, you travel from floor-to-floor through a series of exterior escalators and corridors that are surrounded by clear plastic tubes — kind of like hamster tubes but human-sized. 

The higher you go, the more incredible the view — the Notre Dame towers, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sacre Coeur all come into your line of sight, not to mention the beautiful Parisian buildings that surround the museum. 

If you are hoping to get some really amazing photos, wait until you get to the very top and you can check out the view unobstructed by the plastic tube.

No photo that I took does it justice, but the one above comes close! 

NOTE: I learned after the fact that you can buy a ticket just to access the view for 5 Euros if you like! 

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photos that will make you want to visit the Centre Pompidou museum in Paris
photos that will make you want to visit the Centre Pompidou museum in Paris



10 Reasons Why I Love The Met In NYC and You Will Too

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


If you’ve never been to New York before, The Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art) might seem like it’s just another museum in the longgggg list of museums and art galleries that are on must-see lists for the city. But it is not just like the others, ohhhhhhh no my friend, it is not. 

Here are 10 reasons why you need to add visiting The Met to your New York travel list.

1. Visit The Met for three days on ONE ticket! 
Admission is free or "pay as you wish" for New York State residents. For all other visitors: $25 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students. Admission for all children under 12 and Members and Patrons is free. Note that any full-priced admission ticket is valid for three consecutive days at The Met Fifth AvenueThe Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.

2. The Location
This sprawling, massive white building is perched on the edge of Central Park on Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side. That means that views from its many windows are of the beautiful green space, and there are lots of paths for you to stroll if you need to take a break from a full day of wandering through galleries. 

3. The Quality of The Collection
The quality and diversity of the pieces at The Met are as good as, or arguably better than, those at The Louvre and The British Museum. Founded in 1870, it actually is home to one of the largest permanent collections in the world — more than 2 million objects, many of which are different than anything I have seen anywhere else.  

4. The Layout
The galleries cover an astonishing 17 acres! What I found incredible about the layout though, was how I never felt cramped or overwhelmed by the collection. Though the vast number of objects is staggering, they are displayed in a way that allows you to take everything in. As you wander through the different rooms, you will also find that each one is designed to reflect the antiquities that are inside it. Whether it is a Greek sculpture garden with soaring ceilings, a cozy Egyptian tomb, or a portrait gallery that feels like it's in the hall of a grand palace, you will feel completely transported. 

5. You Can Take Photos
Just like the art galleries and museums in Europe, photos are allowed as long as you don't use a flash. As an added bonus, a lot of the rooms have natural light, so taking photos without a flash doesn't pose as much of a problem as it does in the museums in Europe. 

6. The Egyptian Art
This wing was one of my favourites to walk through. There was an unrivalled collection of jewellery and adornments — necklaces, toe covers, hair decoration — and I loved the way it was displayed. The Temple of Dendur in this wing is an exhibit that is often used for special events, and you will recognize it from its appearance in multiple films. 

7. The Sculptures
I don't know about you, but I could sit and look at Greek and Roman sculptures for days. The way that bodies were carved out of marble to look so supple and soft that you imagine that it would feel like human skin if you touched them (don't touch them) is mesmerizing. And the multiple sculpture galleries at The Met do not disappoint. Make sure you spend some time in the European Sculpture Court and the gallery in the Greek and Roman Art wing.  

8. The Arts of Africa, Oceania & The Americas Collection
Spectacularly displayed, this is an unbelievable collection of work by Indigenous groups from all over the world. Artifacts vary from Mayan gold and carved Native American masks to ceramics from New Mexico and ceremonial ceilings from the tribes of New Guinea.   

9. The Restaurants
Not only is the food spectacular at the museum's many restaurants, but it is accompanied by stunning views overlooking Central Park. Don't miss the Great Hall Balcony Bar that is essentially a pop-up bar open only on Friday and Saturday nights from 4:30 pm – 8 pm. There are wine flights, cocktails, appetizers, and live music all set in the opulence of the Great Hall. 

10. There is More Than One Met! 
Yes, you read that right. The Met on Fifth is just one part (the largest part), of the collection. The Met Breuer houses a collection of art from the 20th and 21st centuries, and The Met Cloisters is dedicated to the art, architecture, and gardens of medieval Europe.  

HOT TIPS TO MAKE YOUR VISIT EVEN BETTER! 
–If you want to see the entire collection without feeling rushed or overwhelmed, you will need more than one day.
–Don't miss the gift shop! Especially if you are a lover of art books — there is a fantastic collection to peruse.

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Why You Need To Visit The Gothenburg Museum of Art In Sweden

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


I recently paid a visit to The Gothenburg Museum of Art (aka Göteborgs Konstmuseum) in Sweden and was blown away by the incredible collection housed in this Swedish art gallery. The space contains an eclectic mix of historic works, Scandinavian art, contemporary sculptures, paintings by famous western artists, new work, and more.

The gallery spaces themselves are as unique as the work that they contain, making you feel like you are moving between buildings rather than just between floors.

The transition spaces between the galleries are also utilized in unique ways. Hallways are filled with collages of portraits (above), stairwells contain unique installations (first image below), and alcoves are the home of both historic and contemporary sculptures (second image below). 

Archive, 2014 by Michael Johansson

Double Blind, 2009/2014 by Charlotte Gyllenhammar

I was lucky enough to visit the museum during a weekday which meant that I was alone in most of the galleries. The sculpture gallery (below) was an especially impressive sight to behold. Turning the corner from the stairwell, you are faced with a vast room with a checkerboard floor that is filled with unique, large-scale pieces.

I was also surprised to see some incredible pieces by famous artists like Picasso, Munch, and Degas, as well as works that I had never seen before painted with a stunning use of light in the Scandinavian tradition. 

Youth from Gosol, 1906 by Pablo Picasso
Picasso's early work is my favourite. Most of these pieces are largely unknown, but the unfinished quality gives insight into the artist's process that I find fascinating and beautiful. 

Nordic Summer Evening, 1899-1900 by Richard Bergh

One of the best parts about the museum?

It's free to visit!

If you want to see the special, seasonal exhibition, there is a small charge, but you can see the majority of the collection without spending a single krona. 




Visiting Monet's Water Lilies At The Musee De L'Orangerie In Paris

by Lindsay Shapka in , , , ,


One of my favourite gallery or museum spaces in the world, the Musee De L'Orangerie is located in Paris on the southwest corner of the Jardin Des Tuileries.

The last time I was in Paris, I was determined to visit smaller museums and locations in the city that had little-to-no mention in tourists books.

That is how I came across this incredible place. 

While it has an impressive collection of Impressionist works, the most incredible part about this gallery is the two, huge white oval rooms that were built in 1927, to Monet's specifications, to display his eight-panel series, Decorations des Nympheas, or Water Lilies

I had no idea what to expect when I walked into the museum, but what I was met with is one of the most unique, peaceful, and inspiring displays of art that I have ever seen.

The shape of the room gives an unending view, allowing people to stand in the middle and be surrounded by Monet's beautiful work.

The lighting is perfect, the crowd quiet, and I ended up spending well over an hour moving back and forth between the two rooms, taking in Monet's brushstrokes, and observing other's enjoy the work

This museum should be on any art lovers must-visit list in Paris — I can't wait to go back! 

Here's what you need to know to plan your visit: 

Musee De L'Orangerie: Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, 75001
Open: Wed – Mon 9 am – 6 pm
Admission: 9 Euros (free on the first Sunday of each month)

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Eight Photos Showcasing 90 Years Of Art In Alberta, Canada

by Lindsay Shapka in , ,


Numerous, 2013      Faye HeavyShield

The Art Gallery of Alberta is one of the oldest art galleries in Canada and celebrated its 90th birthday with the exhibit 90x90 featuring 90 pieces by 90 different Albertan artists created between 1924-2014. 

I was lucky enough to preview the exhibit and was completely blown away by the work on display.

The show was an eclectic mix of sculpture, installation pieces, painting, portraiture, and everything in between — an incredibly diverse showing of the fantastic creative talent that lives in Canada.

Here are a few shots of some of the synamic and diversepieces. 

Errol and Alice, 1983      John Brocke

Lubicon, 1988      Alex Janvier, R.C.A., C.M.

John Will, 1992-2009      John Will

Quilt, 1997      Shelly Ouellet

Large Pink Head #2, 1991      Chris Cran

Studies of Nature I, 1994/2014      Laura Vickerson

Camouflage Painting 1, 2002      Arlene Stamp, R.C.A.




Art Gallery Visitor Tip: Watch People Get Lost In The Art

by Lindsay Shapka in , , ,


Sometimes watching fellow visitors to a museum or gallery observe and react to the art is as much of an experience as observing the art yourself. 

There are those that walk slowly from work to work, one hand behind their back, one on their chin, never pausing for longer than a few seconds. 

Others insist on standing right in the middle of the work for minutes at a time, blocking the view for everyone else. 

Couples often chat and point, commenting on the "vivid use of color" or "visible brushstrokes."

Then there are the people that make security guards nervous because they insist on leaning in so close that it looks like they are actually touching the work from a distance (these observers are often wearing thick academic looking glasses or artfully tied silk scarves). 

We can’t forget the art students that tilt their heads to the side as they shuffle back and forth, trying to see the work from all angles as they fill page after page of their big black sketch books.

The rarest observers and my favorite to watch are the ones that are truly moved by what they are looking at.

The ones that gasp and inadvertently cover their mouth with their hand when they realize that they are face to face with a beloved painting, sculpture, or drawing that they had only ever seen in photos. Their faces literally glow and you can see a range of emotions pass through them while tears gather in the corners of their eyes, and they barely breathe.

After a few minutes, a goofy smile will cross their face and then suddenly self-conscious, they will glance around the room making sure no one saw their reaction, before moving on to the next piece.

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When Modern Art Is Packing Tape In The Shape of A Streetlight

by Lindsay Shapka in ,


There’s a quote that comes to mind when looking at this work by Igor Eskinja, an artist from Croatia: "Modern Art = I could do that + Yeah, but you didn't."

Modernism, as an art movement, originated in the early 20th century in tandem with momentous changes in politics, economics, and science. The developments in art and culture were a way of exploring new possibilities of expression, especially abstraction, in a rapidly changing world. 

This work, titled Liberare Le Menti Occupare Gli Spazi is made from cheap packing tape and is applied directly to the wall of the gallery. Echoing the fleeting, fast-moving quality of the modern world, Eskinja creates his art using ephemeral materials applied directly to gallery surfaces.

This work is destroyed after each exhibit and the artist himself often doesn’t even create the art but sends measurements and instructions for the curators to do the installation themselves. 

I often find myself shaking my head when walking into a gallery with a show like this and asking myself who it was that decided packing tape, tape gun still attached, on the wall was art. 

I could do that… a small child could do that! 

But I guess what it comes down to is that fact that I didn’t do it, Igor Eskinja did, and somebody, somewhere thought that it mattered.

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