10.31.2013

Le Musée Rodin

I am ecstatic about the weather. Last year, it rained every day. Yesterday, it could not have been more beautiful. It was the perfect day for visiting the Rodin Museum

The museum in undergoing a two-year renovation and the number of works displayed is limited. But, there is a Camille Claudel exhibit on the second floor that is well worth seeing. Claudel was a student of Rodin. They had a torrid love affair that some speculate contributed to her demise. She died in an insane asylum 70 years ago. There is also a nice selection of Rodin's primary works, including the Thinker, the Young Girl in the Flowered Hat, and the Kiss.

The Rodin Museum is in the l'hotel Biron, a site chosen by the sculptor himself. He lived in the house and petitioned the state on numerous occasions to turn it into a museum, giving his personal collection in the process. 

The completion of renovation will mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of the museum in 1919.















10.30.2013

Le Berkeley

I had lunch with a friend and former classmate Sylvia at Le Berkeley, just steps from the Champs-Elysées and next door to Christie's auction house. This fabulous restaurant has been here for nearly a century, but one would never know it from the sumptuous décor of Pierre-Yves RochonRochon also designed the Savoy in London, the Hermitage in Monte Carlo, and the Sofitel in my home town of Chicago!

With its library gallery, the interior of the Berkeley is reminiscent of an English reading room or a Parisian café littéraire. I'm reminded of the opening scene of Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn. Unlike the characters in the film, however, the Berkeley clientele is a well-heeled group of executives and art dealers flowing in from the surrounding galleries on Avenue Matignon or the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. 

The weather has been great, so we sat on the terrace. It was the perfect spot on this crisp and sunny day in autumn. More and more, I've noticed overhead heaters mounted in the eaves of cafés and restaurants. I'm thrilled at the sight of them and the thought of the season is being extended by their presence. After lunch, we headed to Christie's for auction previews - another favorite past time. Previews are like going to a museum with price tags! It's so much fun to see what someone might be willing to pay for something. 



10.29.2013

Molkky - la nouvelle pétanque?


It's a different game, but everything else is the same and it's so refreshing to see the continuation of French traditions. I cannot help but wonder whether these guys will be here on a Sunday afternoon forty years from now. I hope they will. 

10.25.2013

FIAC 2013: The International Contemporary Art Fair

Celebrating its 40th year, the International Contemporary Art Fair takes place this weekend in Paris. With 184 galleries from 25 countries participating, it is one of the largest contemporary art fairs in the world. Touring the galleries and taking in all the sites was a great way to spend my first day in Paris.