In a complex building in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais, is the Centre Pompidou, It is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building, and was officially opened on 31 January 1977 by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. It houses the Bibliothèque publique d’information (Public Information Library), a vast public library; the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe; and IRCAM, a centre for music and acoustic research
The building is impressive and you can’t miss its unique ‘inside-out’ design. Its structural system, mechanical systems, and circulation are exposed on the exterior of the building. Initially, all of the functional structural elements of the building were colour-coded: green pipes are plumbing, blue ducts are for climate control, electrical wires are encased in yellow, and circulation elements and devices for safety (e.g., fire extinguishers) are red. I thought that was so cool to see. Never seen a building like that before.
On one of our trips to Paris, we were lucky enough to stay in this area and visited the Centre Pompidou a few times. We could actually see the top of it from our flat. It was so cool. I love art and was thrilled to be able to see some of their art which is quite interesting and uplifting as well. The museum is very huge, Not the Louvre huge, but still huge.
Here are some of their collections: The Modern Collection (From 1905-1960s), The Contemporary Collection (From the 1960s to the 1990s), Contemporary and Progressive Creation (From the 1990s Onwards), The Photography Collection, The Design Collection, The Cinema Collection, The New Media Collection, and The Graphic Art Collection.
My favorite collection I think had to be the Modern Collection and the Contemporary Collection. They contained such artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Constantin Brancusi, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Raoul Dufy, Juan Gris, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Laurens, Jean Arp, Wassily Kandinsky and František Kupka, Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, Annette Messager and Bill Viola.
To discover the museum and its incomparable collection of modern and contemporary art, the Centre Pompidou proposes guided tours and talks for a journey through the creation of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Centre Pompidou also invites visitors to enjoy a tour of the numerous exhibitions staged throughout the year.
Centre Pompidou Masterpieces
These tours are also an opportunity to discuss with a Centre Pompidou lecturer about the visual arts, architecture, design, the major movements of the 20th century and new forms of contemporary creation.
As I pointed out earlier, the Centre Pompidou is a piece of art in itself and thus has been in many film and television productions. Below is a list of some of those shows:
- Gordon Matta-Clark Conical Intersect, 1975. Matta-Clark’s contribution to the Paris Biennale 1975.
- Roberto Rossellini, Beaubourg, centre d’art et de culture, 1977. A documentary about the Centre which explores the building and its surroundings on its opening day. It was Rossellini’s final film.
- Lewis Gilbert, Moonraker, 1979. A fifth-floor room of the building featured as the office of Holly Goodhead (played by Lois Chiles), in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker, which in the film was scripted as being part of the space complex of the villainous Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale).
- Electric Light Orchestra, “Calling America” music video, 1986. ELO is shown performing the song in front of the centre.
- Claude Pinoteau, L’Étudiante, 1988.
- Richard Berry, L’Art (délicat) de la séduction, 2001.
- James Ivory, Le Divorce, 2003.
- Laurent Tirard, Mensonges et trahisons, 2004.
- Éric et Ramzy, Seuls Two, 2008.
- JJ Burnel Euroman Cometh, 1979. The album cover shows JJ Burnel standing in front of the centre.
We had a great time checking out the Centre Pompidou Museum while in Paris. I loved all the artists and exhibits. I have we can go back and visit again on a future trip to Paris. Make sure to check out their website with the last exhibitions and events. Have you been to the museum? If so, what was your favorite part? Happy travels.
Centre Pompidou Visitor Information
+33 (0)1 44 78 12 33
The museum is open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (exhibition areas close at 9 p.m.) Thursdays until 11 p.m. (only exhibitions on level 6).
As of today’s post, admission is €14 which gives access to all exhibitions and the museum. If you are a little short on euros, keep in mind that on the first Sunday of every month, admission to the museum, and the Galerie des enfants is free for everyone.
Metro: Rambuteau (line 11), Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11), Châtelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14) – RER: Châtelet-les Halles (lines A, B and D) – Bus: 29, 38, 47, 75.
Centre Pompidou car park: entrance at 31 Rue Beaubourg
Reserve a parking spot at negotiated prices, without booking costs, through ParkingsdeParis.com, a partner of the Centre Pompidou.
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