Autumn in Paris

October 24, 2009

Up until my birthday I had quite a busy weekend and week preceding it, but I explained the most entertaining parts in words (my birthday celebrations) and what remains is best seen in pictures, so here are some of my favorite snapshots from the week of my birthday. Enjoy!

IMG_3582

Exposition sur le Champs Elysees

There is currently an exhibit of 90 years of French Vogue covers along the Champs-Elysées which is fabulous! The crisp fall air, the changing leaves, and 90 years of fashion  trends, famous people (Twiggy, Catherine Deneuve, Elizabeth Taylor, Kate Moss, and the impeccable Audrey Hepburn to name a few), and covers designed by everyone from Warhol to Dali to Man Ray and of course, Helmut Newton, was breathtaking. One conclusion: Fashion is not timeless, but it is always interesting. Another conclusion: Models on the covers of French Vogue have had to wear some very unfortunate hats!

Where Michel (a dear family friend) took me for coffee

Les Deux Magots

Les Deux Magots is one of Paris’ most well known cafés, and I was fortunate enough to spend some time there! Michel is a family friend who is French and currently living in the states. He was in Paris for just a few days but he still called me so that we could meet up. The coffee was delicious, and the conversation was lovely (and entirely in French!).

Louvre

Louvre

Louvre

Louvre

Louvre's Pyramid at Sunset

Louvre's Pyramid at Sunset

Underneath the Pyramid at night

Underneath the Pyramid at night

Colbert came to Paris for my birthday weekend, and we managed to visit all three major museums. Visiting the less crowded parts of the Louvre at sunset was really lovely, but it’s such a big museum that we missed a lot! Next time I am going to find the Ingres and Delacroix paintings, now that I know they are hidden behind the Mona Lisa!

Orsay

Orsay

Orsay

Orsay

The Musée D’Orsay is currently my museum of choice, as I have visited it nearly half a dozen times since my arrival in Paris. My host mother swears I have it memorized by now, but every time I go I notice something different, like the statue and painting above. (I love that you can so easily imagine a thread between the hands of the statue, and I really like the prominence of the shadows in the painting).

Pompidou

Pompidou-close up

Pompidou-close up

Pompidou-close up

Pompidou

Pompidou

Pompidou-close up

Pompidou-close up

Pompidou-close up

Pompidou-close up (there have been, by the way)

Pompidou-(a great woman artist)

Pompidou-(work by a great woman artist)

Pompidou-another work by a great female artist

Pompidou-another work by a great female artist

The Centre Georges Pompidou is somewhere I want to spend a lot more time, but I am taking a short break after the intensive 4 hour visit that Colbert and I had. We saw a really lovely exhibit that was about love and happy things, but then we spent 3 hours in the Elles exhibit, which features the work of many female visual and performance artists. Many of the pieces were very emotional from the standpoint of not only an art history major, but as a woman and further, as a human being. The fact that so many women artists (particularly in the 60’s and 70’s) felt that the only way to be taken seriously as artists, and for other women to have that opportunity, was to create works featuring self-exploitation or even self-mutilation was really difficult for me to see. I actually cried really hard after the exhibit, because I was so moved and distressed by what I had seen. I was glad that their messages had that effect, even 30 0r 40 years later, and it was good to see how far women artists have come, but distressing to see how far they still have to go. (As a note, I took pictures of many of the works but due to the graphic nature of many shots, I decided to leave them out. Additionally, small pictures out of context don’t have the same effect).

Jardin du Luxembourg-Sunday

Jardin du Luxembourg-Sunday

Jardin du Luxembourg-Host Parents

Jardin du Luxembourg-Host Parents

Jardin du Luxembourg-Ariane

Jardin du Luxembourg-Ariane

Jardin du Luxembourg-tights

Jardin du Luxembourg-tights

Jardin du Luxembourg-Montparnasse Tower

Jardin du Luxembourg-Montparnasse Tower

Jardin du Luxembourg-trees

Jardin du Luxembourg-trees

JdL, Ariane-close up

Jardin: Ariane-close up

JdL-fall colors

Jardin-fall colors

JdL-fountain

Jardin-fountain

JdL-host parents

Jardin-host parents

JdL-Ariane and baby in a white coat!

Jardin-Ariane and baby in a white coat!

After my birthday lunch with my host family on Sunday, my host parents, Ariane and I took a walk around (of course) the Jardin du Luxembourg. The sun was just starting to set, the air had the crisp feeling of fall, and the colors everywhere were absolutely stunning. I especially liked my host mother’s electic blue tights, and Ariane’s combination of red and purple. I also loved the red and purple I saw on another woman in the park! I don’t know why, but I think that it’s a very nice contrast for fall. I will have to try it out!

I’m a bit behind on my updates, I’ve been busy, but I’ll do a wordier update soon! A bientôt!

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