Why you could skip Musée d’Orsay to visit this artist’s house-museum instead


Travel writer and cultural correspondent Lindsay Tramuta knows all about the hidden gems of Paris, where she’s been based since 2006. Here, she argues that time-pressed travelers should plan a visit to a favorite of in-the-know art lovers. 

Paris offers the chance to engage with culture past and present like no other city on earth.

By some estimates, the French capital has more than 120 museums of various sizes within its city limits. This means there’s always a new exhibit or unexplored collection to check out, whether you’re a first-time visitor or lifelong resident. But such abundance can feel overwhelming, especially for those visitors short on time.

The city’s marquee artistic temples, from the Louvre to the Centre Pompidou (called simply “Beaubourg” by Parisians), are bucket-list destinations for a reason: they house some of the world’s most exceptional, epoch-defining works of art. Yet off the beaten track, stupendous collections and thought-provoking exhibitions await throughout the city. If, that is, you know where to look.

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What to skip

After the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay was the most eye-opening artistic experience on my first trip to Paris as a teen. One of the Europe’s largest museums, the Orsay occupies a former railway station on the Rive Gauche (Left Bank), an opulent structure built for the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and which later served as a mailing center and film set. In 1986, the striking Beaux-Arts building took on its best-known role: as the home to the world’s most expansive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, sculptures and decorative objects. Works by the most famous artists from this period – from…

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