I’ve never been to Musee Guimet, the Asian Art Museum of Paris in the 16th arr. It is one of those museums I’ve always wanted to visit but it fell by the wayside.
I read there was a new exhibition of kimonos and at the spur of the moment on Saturday I paid a visit.
Founded by industrialist Emile Etienne Guimet, the museum originally opened in Lyon in 1879 and later moved to Paris n 1889 on Place d’Iena. An avid traveler, Guimet was commissioned in 1876 by the minister of public instruction to study the religions of the Far East, and the museum contains much of what he collected during his journey. Musee Guimet has one of the most extensive collections of Asian art outside of Asia.
Before seeing the kimono exhibit- Kimono — Au bonheur des dames, I visited the permanent collection. The most formidable room was the two-story, domed library with Ionic columns, adorned with Greek statues and a giant Buddha in the center.
Kimono- Au bonheur des dames on the lower level of the museum is a collection of 150 kimonos from the esteemed house of Matsuzakaya from Japan, started in 1611. The occasion marks the first time Matsuzakaya has lent the kimonos to an institution outside of Japan, making the exhibit even more of a rare treat.
It traces the origins and evolution of the kimono and its accessories, showing how it went from being an undergarment exclusively worn by the upper class and how it later became popular fashion in Japan. The kimono became fashionable in Europe in the mid-1800s and the last room of the exhibit displays modern day interpretations by fashion designers Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, and John Galliano.
The ancient kimonos are stunning and the attention to detail in each garment is astounding with hundreds of examples of the finest and minute needlework. Also the color combinations, the rich quality of the luminous silk and the delicate patterns are awe-inspiring.
The kimonos are so fine that the museum will change the display in April to feature all new kimonos, so the others won’t be damaged from exposure.
Make sure you watch the informative video in the last room with interviews of fashion designers and art historians.
Put this exhibit at the top of your Paris to do list.
Till May 22
6 place d’Iena, 75116
Don't forget to order your copy of the Mad Enchantment for the Eye Prefer Paris Book of the Month.
Click the SHOP NOW icon below to order.
Eye Prefer Paris Photos
I am happy to announce a new series of Eye Prefer Paris photos. Give the gift of Paris to yourself or your Francophile friends, relatives, colleagues and co-workers.
- I’ve listed 20 new photos on my Etsy page for easy shopping.
- Photo prints come in two sizes, 8”X10”, $35 each plus shipping and 11”X14”, $50 each, plus shipping.
- They are printed on Fuji crystal Archive metallic paper with rich satin gloss finish and are unsigned and unframed.
- Shipping is $6 per photo in continental U.S. and shipping time is 3-5 days via USPS.
- I can also ship them UPS or Fedex for an extra charge.
- If you are ordering photos as a gift, I can write a personal note card if you send me your text.
Click here to see full selection of images.
Below are some sample images.
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour