About the Museum
If your taste in art runs toward Monet, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Delacroix, Ingres, Renoir, Cézanne, Courbet, Corot and Van Gogh – to name just a few – then you'll want to spend luxurious amounts of time in this museum.
Constructed initially for the Paris Universal Exposition – the World Fair – of 1900, this opulent train station was renovated into a museum in the 1980s. It was Francois Miterrand who inaugurated the building in December 1986, to be precise. He dedicated it as Paris’ newest museum devoted to all forms of Western creative art for the period spanning 1848 through 1914.
Musée d'Orsay in Paris — Photo courtesy of Copyright Sophie Boegly / Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Musée d’Orsay has the honor of being one of the world’s most visited museums, as well as housing the largest collection of Western art of this kind from this period.
The Musée de l’Orangerie, located just across the river and in the Tuileries, is its sister institution, also a haven of master works of Impressionist art. This museum's every bit worth a visit as well.
Upcoming Events for 2014 - 2015
From Tuesday, Oct. 14, through Sunday, Jan. 25, you can see Sade, Attaquer le Soleil ("Sade, Attacking the Sun") at the Musée d’Orsay. This temporary exhibit delves into the subject of how Sade, before he intrigued the thought culture of the 20th century, had greatly upset that of the 19th century.
Roundtable discussions, lectures and literary cafés are scheduled to take place during the exhibit.
Musée d'Orsay, Paris Rive Gauche — Photo courtesy of Copyright Musée d'Orsay, Paris
"Seven Years of Reflection," or 7 Ans de Réflexion, is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov.18, until Sunday, Feb. 22; it's a gathering together and exhibiting of the museums major acquisitions from the past seven years. This will be showing on Level 5 in the temporary exhibition hall.
At the Musée de l’Orangerie, works by Emile Bernard are on exhibit from through Monday, Jan. 5. This artist, not as well known as his contemporaries, is recognized for inaugurating the style known as "cloisonniste" in the late 1880s. He also spent many years in Cairo, Egypt, as an artist.
And the big spring exhibit here is Pierre Bonnard, Painting Arcadia, which will be showing from Tuesday, March 17, to Sunday, July 19. The Musée d’Orsay manages the artist’s output, so following the exhibitions of his works around the world, the museum felt it only fitting that it offer a retrospective of Bonnard representative of his works throughout all his creative periods.
American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay
With all these goings-on, it becomes clear that this is a dynamic, Paris-based museum, with which to become entwined. Its ties to the U.S. are strong and getting stronger.
"Strengthening ties between Americans and the Musée d’Orsay, while supporting one of the world’s greatest collections of French Art," is this non-profit’s mandate.
Membership is currently at about 250, with the goal to double that. Young Patrons (ages 21 to 40) can join for $200 per year, while individuals of any age can join for $250 annually. Sponsors, the most popular level, get a dual membership included for their $1000 annual contribution.
Other member benefits include priority, no-wait entrance and even the occasional personal tour by the artists themselves for designated exhibits.