Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A New Museum: Musée du Quai Branly

The Musée du Quai Branly has been open for 10 years, but that's a very short time for a museum in Paris, and today was our first experience there. We spent several hours looking at the permanent collections of ethnographic materials from Oceania, Asia, Africa, and South America, and saw two special exhibits: "Mata Hoata: Arts and Society in the Marquesas Islands" and "Shamans and gods of pre-Columbian Ecuador."

From our hotel the logical metro stop is Bir Hakim, which lets you off near the Eiffel Tower. So before the museum opened, we walked past the tower and looked around for a while:

There were at least three con games (or maybe pickpocket schemes) going on. This is the first time we've ever seen
someone actually tricking people into betting on a shell game -- a literal shell game!

The unusual architecture of the museum includes a "green wall." The architect is Jean Nouvel.
From the unexpectedly large gardens, you can see the Eiffel Tower.
The red building is the museum. It's intentionally not visible as a
dramatic view, but sort of hides in plain sight.
Birds of course love the garden. This is a songthrush (corrected from earlier
version of this post).
Also birds inside! This is a harpy eagle from a South American people. We saw so much that the images I'm
posting represent only a tiny fraction of the amazing collections and objects we saw. All my examples are from South America.
In a section of the museum about meditation among
shamans in South America we saw this sculpture.
A vase decorated with yucca pods, used to celebrate a harvest festival.
Vases representing sickness, including a deformed foot.
The museum collections came from the Museum of Man and the old Colonial Museum or African Art Museums that needed modernization around the beginning of the century, so the French government decided to create an entirely new center for this type of art. It's surely one of the best such collections, as the French were very enthusiastic ethnographers and collectors from their earliest voyages of discovery and conquest.

The Gardens include some reedy ponds that were a nice place
for this moorhen and her chick (just visible in the center).
Leaving the museum: more views of the Eiffel Tower.

Of course we've been enjoying lots more meals in the past 24 hours, and I have lots more food photos, but that will have to wait.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

It looks as though you have fabulous weather! Did you see any masks inside Branly? And wonderful views of the tower. Oh, how I smile when I see this!