The second special exhibition we visited in Paris was the « Chtchoukine Collection » (Icôns de l’art moderne. La collection Chtchoukine) at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. There were many works of art from the same period as the Bauhaus. It was a special exhibition that required reservations.
The Louis Vuitton Foundation in the Forest of Boulogne
The Louis Vuitton Foundation, with its innovative design in the Forest of Boulogne, is still a relatively new landmark, having been completed in October 2014. It was designed by the American architect Frank Gehry.
This Louis Vuitton Foundation basically seems to hold events centered on contemporary art every time. It didn’t seem to have a permanent exhibition. In Japan, it would be like the New National Museum in Roppongi.
What is the Shchukin Collection?
If you are an art lover, you may have heard of the Shchukin Collection at least once. There have been many patrons and collectors in the past and present, but he is one of the most notable collectors.
The collection covers major works of the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and Modernists from the end of the 19th century to the 20th century, including Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin, Picasso and Matisse.
He began his career in Paris around 1898 when he purchased a large number of Monet’s works from the art dealer Paul Durand-Rouel, followed by paintings by Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso from the art dealer Bollard.
After the war, under Stalin’s order, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg were divided to hold his collection. and owned by them.
For this special exhibition, the Foundation had borrowed selected masterpieces from these museums. The number of works on display is said to be close to 130, and this is the first time that the Fondation Louis Vuitton has held an exhibition featuring so many major Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modernist works.
I’ve been to the Hermitage Museum before, so I recognized some of the paintings in this special exhibition. On the other hand, I have never been to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, so I could not find the following Monet’s works and
Or I didn’t remember seeing any of Picasso’s work.
These two pieces in particular caught my eye, but I guess I had never seen them before. I’m happy to see them here for the first time. But I’ll have to visit Pushkin sometime.
In this special exhibition, there were also some works from the collections of MOMA in New York and Pompidou Center in Paris. I wonder if these are also part of Shchukin’s collection.
So many exhibits that it’s hard to believe it’s a special exhibition.
This Fondation Louis Vuitton, the interior was quite spacious. However, this special exhibition used most of its facilities. The layout of the Fondation Louis Vuitton is as you can see.
By the way, in this special exhibition, pictures were exhibited from the basement floor to the ground floor and all over the ground floor. So, I was surprised at the number of works.
Basically, his collection was laid out in his mansion. Among them, there was a room called Matisse’s room, and it is said that Matisse’s paintings themselves were used as if they played a role in decorating the room. What a rich man’s indulgence… As expected, this special exhibition didn’t have that many gaps, but the paintings were displayed as if they were reproductions of each room that once existed.
It seems that there were several such rooms. There is also Picasso’s room. In this room, there were many works of Cubism.
It was around 1912 that Picasso was awakened to Cubism and his style began to change greatly, inspired by the African Sculpture Exhibition, when Shchokin was his patron. Shchukin was one of the few people who understood Picasso’s advanced attempts from an early stage at the time. That is why he continues to reign as a universal collector that no one can imitate in the future.
The brochure for the special exhibition is amazing!
I was also surprised by the pamphlet for the special exhibition that I got at the venue.
In general, special exhibitions in Europe often have good explanations on panels, but to be honest, it is difficult to read and understand them on the spot, even though I can read French a little now. By the way, English is also available, but even if the explanation is written in Japanese, it would be very difficult to read it well, because it is tiring to visit museums.
This is why these days I always read the explanations in the pamphlet, and if that is not enough, I sometimes buy related books at the museum shop, but the pamphlet I received free of charge for this special exhibition was so voluminous that I did not need to do so.
As you can see, the explanations for each floor and room are very detailed. It seemed to be almost the same text that was written on the walls of the venue. I’ve never seen such a detailed free pamphlet before.
Reservations were required for entry.
By the way, this Stokin collection, of course, is held at the popular Fondation Louis Vuitton, but it also seems to be a very popular special exhibition because of the high quality collection gathered here. It was certainly crowded with many people even in the evening. It’s probably also because of the popularity of the Fondation Louis Vuitton itself.
Actually, I didn’t know at first that you needed to make a reservation to enter this special exhibition. But by chance, the night before our departure, I was telling my wife at home that we were going to Fondation Louis Vuitton, and when I checked the website, I found out about it. It was a close call.
So the reservation is done through the official website, which was surprisingly tricky.
First of all, you have to enter your name and the date and time of your reservation, but then you have to enter your address and your mobile number, both of which must be in France. However, the address can be the address of the hotel you’re planning to stay at, but the phone number can’t be a landline number.
But I was fortunate enough to be in France this summer as well, and I had purchased a prepaid SIM with voice capability, so I entered that number and it was OK.
By the way, Fondation Louis Vuitton’s website is too cool. Tourists don’t usually have a French mobile phone number, right? What am I supposed to do? I think I’ll email them later with my opinion on how to improve it. I would like to send an email in French to study French as well. I think I’ll ask for corrections or something for a fee.
In any case, although we had a hard time booking, we managed to get a date and time during our stay without incident.
You will receive a pdf like this after you make a reservation, so print it out or save it to your smartphone so that you can show it on the day of your departure. I couldn’t print it out in time before departure, so I saved it on my iPhone (Good Reader).
I wonder if it’s because of the high level of attention, if anything, there were media coverage.
The 1 euro bus leaves from the Arc de Triomphe side.
By the way, the Forest of Boulogne, where the Fondation Louis Vuitton is located, is a bit far from the center of Paris. You can get there by metro, but it takes about 20 minutes to walk from the metro station to the building of the Foundation, so it’s convenient to take a bus that leaves from the Arc de Triomphe side.
The specific map is also printed in the pdf issued after the reservation is completed.
This bus is a small electric microbus, and it leaves every 20 minutes, so it’s relatively convenient, but it’s so small that the number of people who can ride on each bus is very limited. When I went there, it was after dusk, but the museum was open until 8 p.m. that day, so there were more visitors than I expected. It’s better to head to the designated bus stop a little earlier.
In addition, I walked to the subway station because it was very crowded on the way back. However, as I said before, it is difficult to understand the direction from this foundation to the subway station at night, and the forest of Boulogne seems to be not so safe, so I think it is better to check the location with your smartphone to avoid getting lost.
We didn’t get to see the gardens because it was past dusk.
This time, we couldn’t enter the garden because it was after sunset even though the reservation time was 6pm and we arrived there one hour before the reservation time. It seemed that we could enter the garden without reservation at that time, but it might be crowded in the vacation season, so it might be safer to make a reservation.