Paris - Ile De France

Guimet Museum – National Museum Asian Art Paris

This page was updated on: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at: 7:31 pm

Guimet Museum – Foundation

Guimet-Museum-of-Asian-Art-Place-Iena

Guimet Museum on Place d'Iéna

The Guimet Museum is officially known as Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet - National Museum of Asian Arts.

The industrialist Emile Guimet is at the origin of it foundation.

From his many travels around the world, Emile Guimet indeed brought back large collections of objects and works of art.

He initially exhibited them in a museum he founded in 1879 in Lyon (his hometown).

He built the Paris Guimet Museum in order to transfer his ever-growing collections.

The inauguration took place on November 23, 1889.

It coincided with the closing of the 4th Exposition Universelle de Paris, the World's Fair for which the Eiffel Tower was built!

Guimet largely funded the construction of the neo-Greek building and its superb rotunda.

The architect Charles Terrier found inspiration from the plans Jules Chatron drew for the Lyon museum.

Musée National des Arts Asiatiques

The Guimet Museum was initially founded as a museum of Egyptian religions, classical antiquity and Asian countries.

However, it very quickly specialized in Asian collections, initially from Korea and Tibet.

The art collections were enlarged with works of art from Central Asia and China from 1927 onward, when it became attached to the Direction des Musées de France - Department of French Museums.

500px-Bibliotheque-musee-Guimet


Rotunda in Library

By then, the Guimet Museum already exhibited the largest collections of Asian art outside Asia!

Soon after, the Musée du Trocadero transferred its Indochinese collections, brought back by the explorer Louis Delaporte, to the Guimet Museum.

The collections were also enlarged with works of art lent by the Délégation Archeologique Francaise en Afghanistan - French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan.

The Khmer collections were added from 1938 onward.

This exceptional Asian cultural heritage turned the Guimet Museum into the undisputed specialist in Asian art.

An exchange of collections took place with the Louvre from 1945 onward.

The Guimet Museum exchanged its Egyptian collections for the Louvre’s department of Asian art's collections.

It then became one of the largest museums of Asian art in the world!

The successive curators and generous sponsors kept enlarging and enriching the collections over the following decades.

Guimet Museum today

A library with a splendid rotunda was founded and open to the public.

500px-Musee_guimet_rdc

Ground-floor exhibition hall

In 1991, the Guimet Museum acquired the building located at no. 19 Avenue d’Iéna in order to found the Pantheon Buddhique.

This section is essentially dedicated to the collections Emile Guimet brought back from Japan.

Major renovation work was undertaken in 1996 in order to turn the museum into a modern cultural center offering temporary cultural events such as cinematographic retrospectives, recitals, concerts and dance performances.

The Guimet Museum's collections are today regarded as the most complete collections of Asian art in the world!

These are exhibited over 5500m2 of permanent galleries laid out in large open space where natural light plays an essential role.

The library and the roof of the Guimet Museum were classified Historical Monuments on July 11, 1979.

Directions: 16th district - 6 Place Iéna
Metro station: Iéna on Line 9
Coordinates: Lat 48.865101 - Long 2.293690

Photo via Wikimedia Creative Commons: Rotunda in library by Athoune is licensed under CC BY 3.0 - Ground-floor exhibition hall by Kuxu76 is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Paris – Ile De France - Latest content

Le Grand Assistant – Pompidou Centre

Le Grand Assistant by the German artist Max Ernst is a sculpture representing a humanoid with his arms outstretched and located by the Centre Pompidou

Marais – Paris Historic Rive Droite

The Marais is an historic enclave of the Right Bank which has been listed as a protected area since the promulgation of the Malraux Act in 1962

Esplanade des Olympiades – Chinatown

The Olympiades district was developed in Paris Chinatown in the 13th district and is centered on the Esplanade des Olympiades and La Pagode shopping mall

La Défense – Paris Business District

Paris La Défense, the largest purposely built business district in Europe was named after a statue commemorating the heroic defence of Paris in 1870-71

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Please note: We will not sell or distribute your email address to any third party.