Friday, June 24, 2011

Guimet Museum

John and I can never resist dropping in on the Musée Guimet when we are in Paris. It is also known as the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet (the National Museum of the Arts of Asia Guimet) and it's housed in the unusual building on the left, situated on the Place d'Iéna in the 8th arrondissement.
The light-filled museum was renovated at the end of the 20th century by architects, Henri and Bruno Gaudin. It's a treasure trove of Asian art. Above we see the main hall with its display of Khymer sculpture and an installation by an American sculptor of Indian descent, Rina Banerjee.
The ground floor galleries have Indonesian sculptures like this head of Buddha,
 and this  11th century Male Divinity - both from Cambodia,
and this 11th century torso of Vishnu from Southern India.
Next we slipped past a very relaxed museum guard
and up the beautiful open staircase to the upper floors
and into the 2nd floor galleries
passing this smashing riderless horse in terracotta dating from the Tang Dynasty (late 7th century) from Central China at the entrance.
In these galleries we loved two Chinese representations of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvale. One, a fierce figure with "a thousand hands and eyes", from the Cinq Dynasty (907-960 AD)
and one shown in meditation made of porcelain from the Ming Dynasty (16th century).
We found another playful art installation by Ms Banerjee on an upper landing.
And finally we found ourselves in the museum elevator riding down to the gift shop on the ground floor to look for postcards for ourselves and friends.


  1. I'm finally getting caught up again on your travels. These are beautiful pictures as always. I'm loving the stories you tell too. Thanks for sharing all of this. It does make me want to go back to Paris (not that I needed any nudging). I will definitely check out this museum when I'm there. It looks spectacular.

  2. Always nice to hear from you, Ms. Q! So glad you are enjoying both the pictures and the stories. Lovers of Asian art will beat a path to the Guimet. (Iéna metro stop)