Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 20, 2019

The Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems, by Emma Jacobs

I’m sure I could never run out of things to do in Paris, but I do like this little guide to some of the smaller museums that I hadn’t heard of.  It’s the perfect guide to finding museums you might otherwise miss.  And in these days of over-tourism, it’s probably a very good idea to have some of these museums as Plan B if you’ve neglected to book your ticket to the Louvre before you’ve left home.

The Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems makes a great companion to Museums and Galleries of London, an Insight Guide edited by Brian Bell and Clare Peel.  On your first trip to London you do all the well-known museums, the British, the V&A, the Natural History, the Science Musuem & the British Library, and then what do you do after that?  On subsequent trips, you work through the wonderful places to go to, that you find in this guide. My edition is 2002, (ISBN 9789812347466)  but we’ve been using this book to plan our 4-5 days in London that start nearly all our European journeys, and there are still some museums that we haven’t ticked off yet.

Well, The Little(r) Museums of Paris is in the same vein.  There’s not quite as much information about the museums, but I like the way the museums are grouped in categories:

  1. Marvels and Machines: on my bucket list now is the Museum of Arts and Tradecrafts which includes the plaster model for the Statue of Liberty; and the Museum of the Cinématheque though I think it’s a shame they’re now focussing on one French film pioneer rather than cinematic history;
  2. History: we’ve already been to the Carnavalet Museum but there were parts of it we didn’t see so I’d like to go back; the Museum of the Middle Ages with the remains of some Roman Baths; maybe the Museum of the BNF (French National Library) though they say it’s closed till 2021;
  3. Architecture and Design: Le Corbusier’s apartment and Maison La Roche;
  4. Around the World: the Museum of Humankind, once used as a cell of the Resistance;
  5. Time Capsules: the Camondo Museum;
  6. Artists and Ateliers: the Rodin Museum; the Delacroix; the Museum of Montmartre and the Berthe Morisot Gallery;
  7. Stage and Page: We’ve already been to Victor Hugo’s House, but then there’s Balzac’s; Edith Piaf’s; and the Museum of Music;
  8. Science and Medicine: the Grand Gallery of Evolution (which, according to a gravestone I’ve seen in Paris, the French are inclined to attribute to themselves rather than to Darwin); the Museum of the History of Medicine; and the Marie Curie and Pasteur Museums (but you have to book in advance for that one);
  9. On the Outskirts: Monet’s house, the National Ceramics Museum and the Renaissance Museum.

That’s just a taste of what’s suggested. I can see that I shall need to make more than one trip to Paris!

The book also includes half a dozen itineraries.  They’re not very detailed, and they don’t include the all important info about which métro station to use, and only one of them suggests nearby eateries, but with the right phone apps, it’s probably not necessary:

  • Saturday in the 16th Arrondisement
  • Museums with Kids
  • A Day in the Marais
  • Plaine de Monceau
  • Sculptors Tour, and a
  • Road Trip

Essential pre-reading for travel… or just for day-dreaming…

Author: Emma Jacobs
Title: The Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems
Publisher: Running Press, Philadelphia, 2019, 192 pages
ISBN: 9780762466399
Source: Personal library, purchased from The Grumpy Swimmer, Elwood, $26.99

Available from Fishpond: The Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems


Responses

  1. Great post 😊

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  2. Lisa, you need to go to the Balzac museum. It’s small but lovely for booklovers like us.

    I want to go to the museum of the Middle Ages, I’m waiting for the end of the “refurbishing” they’re doing at the moment.

    The musée Carnavalet is wonderful, that’s where you can see Proust’s bed.

    The Rodin Museum is marvelous and so is the Montmartre one.

    And Monet’s house at Giverny is a great visit.

    I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to do in Paris either.

    Does she mention the musée Jacquemart André and the Musée de la vie romantique. (you’d love this one, full of George Sand)

    I need to do a Literary Escapade to the Camondo Museum. It really seems to be a journey into the past.

    I also liked the Musée de l’immigration. It shows how France has always welcome foreigners and we should remember and celebrate it.

    I’d love to meet you in Paris. Maybe some day!

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    • Maybe, just maybe, next year. My French school is running an immersion course at Uzès in Provence, and (a) if I have enough money and (b) I haven’t left it too late to book in and (c) (most important) Tim’s mother will be ok for us to go, then we will add some time in Paris to the trip.
      I loved the Carnavalet. It’s full of bookish moments and some of it was closed off so it definitely merits a return visit.
      The book does mention those two that you’ve suggested, and the Immigration museum – did you go to ours when you were here in Melbourne?

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      • Uzes isn’t that far from where I live. (2 to 3 hours drive) Keep me posted.

        And yes, we’ve been to the immigration museum in Melbourne. Very interesting.

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        • Well, (if it goes ahead) we’ll be coming from Paris by train so we can have a stopover en route!

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          • Fingers crossed, then. I really hope we’ll see you here.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds such a wonderful book. And I love your term ‘over-tourism’. thank you for all this richness.

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    • That’s odd, I replied to this earlier today and WP has eaten my comment!
      I said, more or less, that I can’t take the credit for the term: I read it in an article about the summer crowds, all pushing and shoving to take selfies at major tourist attractions. I’ve never travelled in the European summer, not unless you count Russia in late August – I could not stand the queues and the noise and inevitably the bad tempers that arise from frustration.

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  4. You’re giving me itchy feet….

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    • Ooh yeah!
      I get horribly homesick if I’m away for more than four weeks, but my feet start itching as soon as I get home!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d never run out of things to do in Paris, but they would mostly involve eating and drinking, though I guess I could be persuaded to walk around. I’m still planning to have my 70th birthday there, though family finances aren’t what they used to be (fingers will need to be crossed).

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    • Well, if family finances aren’t up to it, we’ll all just have to descend on your flat and party there:)

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  6. […] The Little(r) Museums of Paris: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems, by Emma Jacobs […]

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