Saturday, September 29, 2012

Paris Gives Me Museumittus: Part Two

One of the things I love about Paris museums is there are all kinds of hidden treasures right under your nose.  A gold mine for an off the beaten track traveler like me. Take the Louvre for example. Right next to the most famous museum in France is an amazing museum that many people miss The Museum of Decorative Arts. As you can imagine the French are the consummate kings of decorative arts.  For decades its royalty demanded the most elaborate furniture and accessories to fill their palaces. To the French, a bed isn’t just some place to sleep; it’s a work of art. Like this amazing example.

I’m a sucker for beautiful rooms filled with furniture to match and the museum had me practically salivating. My favorite period is Art Nouveau, (French of course) and the museum had the most gorgeous rooms filled with accessories to die for. How I wished I could move right in. The museum had done their job. The rooms were so inviting I wanted to live there.

A friend of mine tagged along on my visit and her jaw dropped when we stood in front of this Nouveau showstopper.

"Wow, the room is beautiful. How could I not know about this place."

Unfortunately she’s not alone. Despite the fact that the museum is right next to the famous Louvre hardly anyone pays it a visit.  

I rolled my eyes. "Because you don't think out of the box. You go to all the predictable places. "

She hung her head. "You're right. If it doesn't make the top ten in the guide books it's not on my radar."  

"Exactly. Think of all the amazing things you've missed. You've been to Paris twice!"

Right then and there she made me a promise. On her next visit to Paris she'd be sure to seek out all the little museums the city of lights has to offer. 

If there's one thing I've learned from my time in Paris, famous doesn't always mean the best.  The Louvre is amazing. Seeing the Monet water lily paintings in person unforgettable. But the highlight of my trip were the hidden treasures of The Decorative Arts Museum.