besides being basically my favourite places to hang out in general, art museums are prime spots for interesting people watching. in the musée d’orsay i lurked in the same room as courbet’s origin of the world for about 5 minutes, and enjoyed witnessing a variety of reactions … naturally the piece generates a lot of interest and giggles – mostly from men. in the l’orangerie i sat and watched these two women who gazed at monet’s water lilies for ages. when i squinted my eyes they started blending in with the blue water.

in the louvre i stood and watched as people went crazy around the mona lisa. this was my third visit, and it’s always the same story: jostling to take a photos & jamming at eachother’s elbows so they can stand as close to her as possible. the guards in the room are almost permanently rolling their eyes at the tourists who all flash away with their little digital cameras, even though there are several signs that say no flash… all the while lisa is just chilling with that disarming smile on her face, and the eyes that watch you no matter where you are standing in the room.

actually, all the paintings seem to be watching you… all the time.

so i retreated to the calm of the decorative arts museum – still my favourite of them all. it is currently hosting an animals & toys exhibit (excellent!) and they were busy setting up for the mobi-boom exhibit in the nave opening on 23 september, which will showcase furniture design from 1945 to 1975 – seriously bummed i’m missing that.

all photos by me, more of paris at my flickr


  1. again- i can’t believe i’ve never been to paris. i love your commentary about your time in museums and all the crazies you find in them.

  2. I love the pictures of the musee d’Orsay. I haven’t been there in ages!!! I going to post a blog about chairs. May I use your photo (with credit of course) as part of the post.

  3. I’m going to Paris at the end of this year (for the Monet exhibition), but after seeing your pictures, the decorative arts museum is definitely on my list!
    And yes, I love to look at the reaction of visitors in a museum too, that’s a great part of enjoying art.

    • you definitely have to visit the decorative arts museum – it’s my favourite one of all (except maybe for the musee d’orsay…)

      when you go i highly recommend getting a paris museum pass. i got the two day version and if you visit enough museums it’s more than worth it. if anything you get to walk straight into the louvre without queuing (muwahaaaa)

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