The Guimet Museum, at the heart of Asian culture
Founded by Émile Guimet, the Guimet Museum or French National Museum of Asian Arts came from his will to create a museum on the religions of Egypt, Classical Antiquity and Asia. The building is located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris in Place d'Iéna, and it was entirely renovated in 1997, thus becoming a large european knowledge center on Asian civilizations.
The Guimet Museum history
Throughout his many trips to Egypt, Greece, Japan, China and India, Émile Guimet gathered many collections for his institution. He presented them in Lyon as soon as 1879. The Museum's collections kept giving more and more importance to Asia, even if the institution keeps a section on the the religions of ancient Egypt. Religions of the Antiquity have a reduced space, to favour Charles Varat's collections of Korean objects or Jacques Bacot's collections of Tibetan art.
The Guimet Museum was attached to the Management Department of French Museums in 1927, and its collections kept increasing thanks to the donations of Paul Pelliot or Édouard de Chavannes. The original art pieces of the Trocadéro's Indochinese Museum and the French Archeological Commission in Afghanistan then added up to its collections.
In 1945, the Guimet Museum sent its ancient Egypt art pieces to the Louvre in exchange of all of the art pieces of the Louvre's Asian art department. It then became one of the world's major Asian art museums.
The vast renovation program initiated in 1996 gave the institution founded by Émile Guimet access to the technological advancements of museology in terms of display and preservation of the art pieces. Nowadays, the museum holds 5 500 m² of galleries lighted with natural daylight. Visiting areas are quiet an open, so visitors can fully enjoy the relations and differencies between the various Asian art styles displayed, not only from an era to another, but also from a country to another.
Visiting the French National Museum of Asian Arts
Sculptures, vases, miniatures of old buildings, fabrics... The collections of the institution are very rich as they display artworks of a large variety of natures and from various traditional styles.
Visiting the Guimet Museum is an absolute must-do when coming to Paris. It truly is one of the most beautiful and exotic cultural hotspots of the French capital.
Lovers of Asian art (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cambodian, Indian, Buddhist and many more) will be amazed by the beauty and the diversity of the collections. Temporary exhibits sometimes add up to the permanent ones, such as the "Daimyo - Warlords in Japan" exhibit. Such exhibits give the opportunity to all Asian culture lovers to discover new things and come again and again to the Museum without growing weary.
Take this trip to the antipodes of Europe for a 2 or 3 hour visit. When visiting the French National Museum of Asian Arts you will feel like you are evolving somewhere in between two worlds.