Category Archives: Museums

Traveling With A Decorator – Day 2 The Louvre

M and I woke up with only mild Jet- Lag and took ourselves off for the best fix – Tea and Baked Goods.

We somehow managed to get down the 6 flights of stairs…

Sated, we headed off to the Musee De Louvre  (an obvious first stop for a set, and museum designer). It was early and the lines weren’t as bad as we expected but the shortest by far was the Richelieu Wing, so off we went (Hint: It’s the one to the Left). I should mention that we purchased a 4 day museum pass which was well worth it given all the museums we went to.

This particular wing of the Museum houses the rooms of Napoleon III, the Emperor of the Second French Empire and the nephew to Napoleon I. The Louvre describes the Salon thus: “The large drawing-room of the Napoleon III Apartments typifies the taste of the period for opulent interiors. The ceiling features Charles-Raphaël Maréchal’s painting of The Reuniting of the Louvre and the Tuileries by Napoleon III. The lavish stucco decorations are by Tranchant.” (Hint: Click on the images to enlarge).

The rest of the rooms were equally opulent.

We continued on to the Marie Antoinette Rooms. The almost Tiffany Blue had been a popular color during her time in France and the rooms reflected this.

Having worked up an appetite we headed back to the center of the museum to grab a bite at their restaurant. But not before passing a few more grand rooms along the way!

“Winged Victory” in all her glory.
This room was full of jewels and details about the artists who had worked for the Kings of France.

After lunch we checked out the Vermeer exhibit which looked at his art in relation to other artists of his time. The exhibit was interesting but packed, and we had to wait an hour just to get in. We left the museum and strolled down the Jardin Des Tuileries grabbing some ice cream along the way. At the Octagonal lake we took a right and headed up Rue Cambon, past the Église Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption and turned right along the Rue Saint Honoré which is one of the main, high-end shopping streets in Paris. Taking a Right on Place Vendôme we passed by the Vendôme Column, of which Balzac once said “The city of Paris has a great mast, made entirely of bronze, with sculpted Victories and Napoleon as its lookout”.

At this point we were starving so we turned to Google to direct us to some food. A few moments later we were sitting at Razowski’s in a lovely square, chowing down on some of the best burgers I’ve ever had (they were also accommodating to my food allergy  – making a few adjustments to the meal so I could have what I wanted – I was very happy with the service).  We sat outside and watched the rain fall and people walk home while we decided what to do next. fullsizeoutput_607IMG_9950

As it turned out the Musée D’Orsay was open late on Thursdays so we headed over. Passing back through the gardens we crossed the bridge and headed in.

Paris at Dusk is lovely
Musee D’Orsay Clock

The museum had a special exhibit “Beyond the Stars: The Mystical Landscape from Monet to Kandinsky” about the nature of the humanity in relation to the cosmos. Some of the work was quite brilliant and unexpected. (click on images for more information).

Red Hills, Lake George by Georgia O’Keeffe 1927
Decorative Landscape by Lawren Steward Harris 1917
Sky by Emily Car 1935-1936

We did a fast tour through their first floor and then were promptly kicked out of the museum at 9:15 (not before seeing some Sassy AF women portrayed in the paintings including Sarah Burnhardt!).

Femme à L’orchidée by Edgard Maxence 1900
Portrait de Sarah Bernhardt by Georges Clairin between 1884 and 1902
Madame Pasca by Léon Bonnat 1874

At this point we were beat, so we headed back to the 16th to unwind with our host over a glass of wine!


Traveling with a Decorator – Europe Day 1

Kings Cross St. Pancras Station, London

M. and I (hereby renamed M&M) are on a tour of Europe. We once designed theater projects together in College and now work in two different design fields. This is our account of the trip.

Day 1: We arrived in London late on Tuesday night and headed to our hotel, a nondescript little hole in the wall on a row of similarly tiny hotels next to Kings Cross St. Pancras Station. Upon waking the next morning to a rather dreary, rainy day I promptly blew up my hair-dryer (but managed not to light the room on fire or blow out the electricity so I count it as a win). Appealing to the better natures of the hotel staff I managed to wrangle a new hair-dryer and proceeded with M. in tow to meet my old flatmates, C&C, in Kensington.

We headed to The Muffin Man for a delightful tea with scones & jam. It was a great traditional place with cozy seating and a great tea selection.

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Tea and Scones from The Muffin Man – Photo by Olivier De Man

Then we hailed a black cab and headed over to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A is by far one of my favorite museums, and houses everything from clothes and costumes, to marble statues, old tiles, pottery, stained glass etc. It’s huge and we hardly had enough time to begin but we gave it a go anyway. C&C led us through the Cast Room which I discovered back in 2004 during my study abroad years. One sections was being remodeled but the other was just as I remembered it. Then, we headed to the theater exhibit rooms (filled with costumes and set models) and the stained glass rooms (which were beautifully laid out).

Before we had even begun to take it all in it was time to head off. We bid a cheerful goodbye to C&C and went back to the hotel to grab our bags and catch the train to Paris! The train was exceptionally fast and not too crowded (4:30 on a Wednesday isn’t the most popular time for travel) so we were able to spread out a bit. By 11pm we were happily tucked into bed at our Friend’s apartment in the 16th and passed out. It was quite the start to our Europe Adventure.