Photos courtesy the Paris Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Museum shops. Parisian museums present the opportunity to combine culture with shopping. After a visit, you can pick up the hottest new design object to take home; find a special work on architecture, science, or cinema; or choose the latest trendy image or object as a souvenir.
THEMATIC AND SPECIFIC SHOPS
Museum shops offer works and objects of a high quality representative of those found in the exhibitions themselves. They often present the opportunity to find rare or very specialized objects, recordings, or books.
Close to the Jardin des Plantes, the bookshop of the Institut du Monde Arabe, designed by Jean Nouvel, has many precious items. Once through the entrance of this magnificent institution encased in moucharabiehs, the shop offers insight into Arab culture with high-quality exhibition catalogs and books on photography, architecture and craftsmanship.
In the Bercy district, the bookshop of the Cinémathèque Française is housed in a building designed by the architect Frank O. Gerhy. This bookshop for cinema buffs is situated on the mezzanine of the Cinèmathèque and is the main reference for cinema in Paris. Books about the history of cinema, experimental cinema and film music, as well as posters, and photos are for sale.
The bookshop at the Jeu de Paume, at the Place Concorde, is a landmark bookshop for all areas of photography, the visual arts and cinema, and has built a collection of more than 10,000 titles. The bookshop also operates a high-quality mail-order service for visitors abroad.
The huge bookshop Harmonia Mundi is located between the concert hall and the Musee de la Cita de la Musique, at the entrance to the Parc de la Villette, in north Paris. Lovers of classic, jazz and world music can choose from among the 9,000 CD and DVD references and benefit from the advice of professionals.
Linked to the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, just across from the Eiffel Tower, the Moniteur Bookshop is entirely devoted to the subject of architecture and stocks works on architecture, town planning and heritage.
The national museums in Paris also have their prestigious shops. The Musée du Louvre shops, in several locations at the Carrousel, sell elegant objects like reproductions of jewelery and sculpture from the museum’s collections, as well as a selection of monographs by artists, essays and art books.
The Musée d’Orsay, a former train station built for the World Fair of 1900, has a delightful shop inspired by the collections of the museum selling posters, table and home decor objects, and exhibition catalogs.
Finally, the Flammarion bookshop at Beaubourg, in the Centre Pompidou, offers exhibition catalogs, postcards and multimedia products as well as a large selection of publications on art and design.
Some museums boast highly-contemporary shops designed like a second exhibition area to extend the length of a visit and offer a sales area with a striking decor. The ultra-trendy Palais de Tokyo, powerhouse of the contemporary artistic avant-garde, close to the Eiffel Tower, asked the graffiti artist André, the creator of the character of Monsieur A., to design its Blackblock gift shop. The design of the shop was inspired by a gas station in the suburbs of Stockholm. Encircled by refrigerated glass windows with integrated pink lights, the shop displays rare objects and limited editions. The space is also regularly used for special events.
In another vein, Le Laboratoire has opened near the Louvre; it is an experimental venue at the crossroads of science and contemporary creation with a bookshop called Laboshop. A veritable bubble in white, the shop invites visitors to discover a variety of prototypes that have been devised and created by participants at the venue, and which it is possible to test or buy. Among the most astonishing, “the Whiff” is a process which enables you to eat by inhalation, while “the Bel-Air” is a filter that enables plants to filter the air. These unique objects are signed by Designer Mathieu Lehanneur, and scientist and founder of this unique place, David Edwards.
The mezzanine of the Centre Pompidou, a dynamic Parisian cultural institution, houses the Printemps du Design, a shop with a grey concrete floor and minimalist windows. It offers 3,000 types of objects around five themes: living, savoring, charming, communicating, getting around and playing. Eggcups, seats, cameras, jewelery, sweets and spinning tops catch the eye. Striking for its selection and display of objects, it offers design classics as well as the latest in contemporary creations.
The 107 Rivoli is the sales area of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, close to the Tuileries Gardens in the center of the capital. Specializing in specific areas of the decorative arts, fashion and design, the shop offers a rare selection of books, accessories, stationary, tableware and toys. For more up-to-date shopping, celebrities and designers are invited to suggest a selection of special objects for the duration of an exhibition or an event.
The new Galerie de l’Opéra is a gem of a shop situated within the prestigious Palais Garnier. A place to discover talents and trends in Europe, it specializes in the operatic and choreographic arts and is divided into four areas: multimedia library, art for children, memory, and performance, and is linked to the artistic program of the famous institution. Educational games, designer objects, books, technological or even signature and showcase objects already make this a cult address for the latest in museum shopping.
Galerie de l’Opéra
The prestigious Pinacothèque de Paris, situated opposite the Madeleine church, rounds off this tour of contemporary museum shops. Its shop showcases French and European designers who are not well-known to the general public, like the La Tonkinoise jewelery brand, for example. There is also a great selection of items for children: memory games, card games, wooden toys; and for adults, superb decorative objects and even luxury stationary.
For the curious and contemporary art buffs, there is the Merle Moqueur, situated in the north wing of the Halle Curial at the Centquatre, the city of Paris art establishment in northeast Paris. The shop features an epoxy floor, suspended acoustic cassettes and ramps with fluorescent lighting. Reference works for children and adults are offered in the different sections: general, youth and arts.
Also centered on contemporary creations, the bookshop of the Maison Rouge in Paris, Bookstorming, has wall decoration by the artist Jean-Michel Alberola. Books on art, monographic works, and critical essays, as well as many original works are on sale. Numerous events and encounters with artists and authors, like book signings, talks and video displays are featured regularly.
The bookshop of the Musée du Quai-Branly, situated on the Seine quayside near the Eiffel Tower, is devoted to art from outside Europe. This unique place offers a variety of ethnic objects while advocating the values of fair trade, for example with A-Typik and its Colombian jewelery, whose profits go to the reconstruction of schools in Colombia.
Reflecting the museums in which they are housed, this type of shop offers unusual and miscellaneous articles.
At the Musée de la Poste, the shop Correspondances offers a fine choice of objects linked to the role and history of the Post Office: original postcards, objects and ideas for gifts.
Below Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre, the Halle Saint-Pierre is an exhibition area showing unusual and popular primitive art. The bookshop of the Halle Saint-Pierre is as surprising as the museum. Built of iron and glass, it houses books on art and literature, often illustrated and covering all types of contemporary creation.
Not far from the Halle Saint-Pierre, in north Paris, the shop of the Musée de l’Érotisme caters to shopping with an aphrodisiac edge. On sale are books of modern art and erotic photographs, and old films and comic strips on the same theme.
There is also the bookshop of the Hôtel de Sully, located in a 17th-century mansion. This exceptional establishment presents national heritage treasures and heritage publications.
The shop of the Monnaie de Paris delights fans of coins, medals and jewelery.
The bookshop of the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, situated near City Hall, offers atypical shopping opportunities with very specialized literary and artistic publications on the subjects of nature and hunting.
For honing technical and scientific knowledge, the shop of the Musée des Arts et Métiers offers fine objects and books linked to the current exhibitions. Badges, fans, model aircraft, and literary works provide a close-up view of the fascinating world of technology.
Finally, in the Hôtel de Saint-Aigan, in the heart of the Marais, the bookshop of the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme offers a selection of varied objects and books on religion, philosophy, history and ethnography, continually updated according to what’s at the museum.