Post by kerouac2 on Aug 13, 2018 12:29:43 GMT
The Musée national des arts asiatiques - Guimet is one of the greatest museums in the world for Asian art, but it is rarely overflowing with visitors. Just about the only tourists who go there come from Asia, and there are not huge crowds of French visitors either. There is such a glut of museums in Paris that it is not really surprising, but people who have not seen this one are really missing out. Why the name Guimet? Emile Guimet was a rich industrialist from Lyon as well as being a globetrotter. He started collecting Greek and Egyptian artifacts but moved on to Asian art in the 1880's. His first museum was in Lyon, but then he decided to build his own museum in Paris, and it opened in 1889. Guimet died in 1918, and in 1927 the museum became a national museum, and other Asian items were brought from the Trocadéro Palace which was filled with the plunder of explorer Louis Delaporte. Anyway, it is the biggest collection of Asian art outside of Asia. However, it exhibits almost exclusively items of Asian sculpture, although there is a new wing devoted to textiles. The museum actually has two other sites in the neighbourhood -- the Musée d'Ennery and the Hôtel d'Heidelbach -- which house more of the collections. One good thing about the museum ticket for Guimet is that it is valid for a second visit within ten days to reduce the sensory overload.
Anyway, the Guimet is at Place d'Iéna, directly across from the Palais de Tokyo, which is the Paris municipal museum of modern art (not to be confused with the Pompidou Centre, which is the national museum).
I just plunged right in and immersed myself in Khmer sculpture for a start.
One's first impression is "I think I know what happened to all of the heads missing from the statues on the temples in Cambodia" but it would be a mistaken one.
Most of these items date from the 12th century, while the French were building Notre Dame.