Situated in the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, the Jeu de Paume museum is a place that houses an art centre for modern and postmodern photography and media. Built in 1962, next to the Orangerie, the Jeu de Paume will enchant you with its art collection presented only during temporary exhibitions. If you are an art lover, then you must visit this place. It is an excellent opportunity to see and admire the work of artists such as Frederico Fellini, Ai Weiwei, and Sally Mann.
During the French revolution, Jardin des Tuileries, the beautiful garden designed for the Kings of France by André Le Notre, one of the most famous gardeners of the time, has become a public space. Under the reign of Napoleon III, two pavilions were added to this park. One of them was the Orangerie, a building built in 1852 as a winter shelter for the orange trees from the Jardin des Tuileries. The other one was made in 1862, to house jeu de paume courts. This game, which is like a kind of indoor precursor of tennis, was at the beginning played without racquets, and it was even an Olympic sport. But eventually, as this sport was becoming less and less popular, people abandoned its courts, and in 1909 transformed them into an art gallery. Today, this building houses the National Gallery of the Jeu de Paume, a vital art centre for modern and postmodern photography and media.
At the beginning of World War II, the Jeu de Paume collection was evacuated and sheltered at the Château de Chambord in the Loire valley. From 1940 to 1944, the building was requisitioned by the German army, and many sized artworks from other museums and art collections were stored here. Rose Valland, an art historian and member of the French Resistance who was working at the Jeu de Paume, secretly recorded all those stolen works. Thanks to her, after the war, most of them were saved and returned to their owners. The museum’s war history was described in several novels and movies. The American film The Train from 1964, directed by John Frankenheimer, featuring Burt Lancaster and Jeanne Moreau, is based on the non-fiction book “Le front de l'art” on this topic, written by Rose Valland. In 2014 American movie The Monuments Men, directed by George Clooney, Cate Blanchette plays Rose Valland.
The Jeu de Paume Museum, an essential Parisian art centre for modern and postmodern photography and media, is open every day, except on Mondays, from 11 am to 9 pm on Tuesdays, and from 11 am to 7 pm from Wednesday to Sunday. The entrance fee for adults is 10 euros, but on Tuesdays, the entrance is free for students and everyone under 25. A guided tour is organised every Wednesday and Saturday at 12.30 pm.
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