Maxim’s has its secret museum

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Musée Maxim’s shows Pierre Cardin’s Art nouveau collections

Many old Parisians have never heard of it let alone visited it, and yet Musée Maxim’s was opened eleven years ago to house Pierre Cardin’s Art Nouveau collections. When, in 1981, the couturier bought the famous Paris restaurant and the building above it (now he owns another one next-door), he already loved art and had been buying many pieces at auction.Read More

Karen Knorr goes East

Hei, photographed in Tokyo,

The Journey, Hie Torii, Tokyo, série Monogatari, 2015

American photographer Karen Knorr was born in Frankfurt and lives in London. She will be like every year, very present at Paris Photo (Nov. 11 to 15) at Grand Palais with her classical photographs of stuffed animals in exotic decors. A new show of her Japanese photographs, has just opened at Les Filles du Calvaire gallery and there, she takes a new step away from animals, in recreating contemporary geisha portraits.Read More

Saint-Roch, a very special church and now a book

photo Jean-François Fortchantre

With its doric columns designed by Robert de Cotte, the façade of Saint-Roch on rue St Honoré, photo Jean-François Fortchantre

The church of Saint-Roch, a few blocks from the Louvre and the Comédie Française, is very special to Parisians. Not only does it own one of the most precious religious art collections of the capital, it is also the parish of Artists. For that reason, it held many of the famous designers’, musicians’ or actors’ funeral masses including Yves Saint Laurent’s, actress Annie Girardot, photographer Kate Barry, actor director Georges Wilson, film director Philippe de Broca in 2004 and Molière’s anniversary mass every 17 th of February.

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Sepik, a river to be discovered

Don du capitaine Friedrich Haug le 12 novembre 1909

Feminine figure with parted legs, © Linden-Museum Stuttgart, photo Ursula Didoni

The minute you enter the Sepik exhibition at Musée du quai Branly, you are transported to the other side of the world, watching fishermen on pirogues drifting on a very large river, the 1 126 km long Sepik. Since it was discoverers by Otto Finsch in 1886, the estuary of the Sepik in Papua-New Guinea (independent since 1975), just North of Australia, has been an object of study by German and Swiss scholars and the result of their discoveries is an incredible esthetic experience.Read More

Can 18 th century furniture be revamped?

One of four Louis XVI armchair by Jean Baptiste Delaunay, 1764, recently covered in Patrick Frey silk

One of four Louis XVI armchairs by Jean- Baptiste Delaunay, 1764, covered in Patrick Frey silk by the Kraemer

French antique dealers specialised in 18 th century furniture have had a hard time recently. Most of the internet billionaires prefer to buy 1950’s furniture, with the photographs of where and when it was conceived. Hard to do with Marie Antoinette’s flat desk or the Great Catherine of Russia’s wardrobe… So the house of Kraemer, which carries pieces by very famous 17 th and 18 th century cabinet makers, has decided to revamp their furniture and the way they present it. With the help of Patrick Hourcade, who designed the exhibition of furniture at Versailles last year, and Kamel Mennour, the « it » gallerist who represents Anish Kapoor, Lee Ufan and Daniel Buren, they redecorated their huge Hôtel Particulier of rue de Monceau, located a few steps away from Musée Camondo, the epicenter of classical French furniture. I can’t say that seeing a red piece by Kapoor or stripes by Buren helped my understanding of furniture better, but I was impressed by what a piece of contemporary silk by Patrick Frey could do to a Delaunay armchair… and the place is quite amazing to visit. Do press the button at 43 rue de Monceau, you will not be disappointed…( from 10 am to 6 pm, until November 7 th)

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Cooking, Italian style

Deborah and Emanuele form a perfect team at La Perla del Mare

Deborah and Emanuele form a perfect team at La Perla del Mare

It said 6.30 to 9 pm and the idea of watching a famous young Italian chef, Deborah Corsi, cook at Hotel de Gallifet, one of Paris’ most beautiful private house on rue de Grenelle, was exciting enough. But what really happened that night went way beyond. I entered a fabulous stage, where preparing gnocchi’s became a feast as beautiful as « Babette‘s feast » and the evening ended at 11 pm after a gorgeous dinner and extensive Italian wine tasting.

Marina Valensise built the kitchen and started the Young Italian Chef program

Marina Valensise built the kitchen and started the Young Italian Chef program at Instituto Italiano di Cultura

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An American at Musée de la Chasse

1. Walton Ford

La Fontaine, 2006

To run a museum called Musée de la Chasse et de la nature is not always easy at a time when French people consider this a leisurely activity for the very rich… But Claude d’Anthenaise, the director who restored this beautiful hôtel particular in the Marais, has managed to always keep our minds excited with temporary exhibitions, on the ground floor and all around the three storeys of the building. After a playful show of Cibles (painted shooting targets) which came mostly from Germany, and Danish artist Lin Utzon last year, he surprises us once more with Walton Ford, a fabulous New York water colorist who had never been shown in France.Read More

Who is afraid of lady photographers?

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), Self-portrait with camera,© Digital Image Museum Associates

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), Self-portrait with camera,© Digital Image Museum Associates

Photography as a way of emancipation for women in the 19 th and 20 th century ? This is the theme of a marathon exhibition, set in two museums in and near the Tuileries gardens : Musée d’Orsay and l’Orangerie. Curated by Ulrich Pohlmann from the Stadtmuseum in Münich and Thomas Galifot and Marie Robert from Musée d’Orsay, it is a vast frescoe of talented and daring artists, some of which we already know well (Julia Margaret Cameron, Tina Modotti) others we discover here.Read More