Our Museum Correspondent Claudia Westh Lonning reports…
Breathtaking boat in Bois de Boulogne…
Even on a grey rainy day, the first encounter with the Fondation Louis Vuitton was truly outstanding. It will be the first of many more visits.
En route to meet my group of Museum Mamas, I eagerly made my way to the Fondation Louis Vuitton getting off at the metro, Les Sablons. Having previously consulted a map, I knew where to go from the metro. However, there was actually no need for that! Inside the metro, there were signs pointing me in the right direction towards, the Fondation Louis Vuitton and I was guided all the way until I was face to face with this amazing futuristic, huge and magical building, shaped according to the architect, Frank Gehry:
“like a boat floating through the Bois de Boulogne”.
Paris and the rest of the world have waited 12 years for the opening of Frank Gehry’s new private art museum and cultural centre, which will exhibit works of art from the Fondation Louis Vuitton (FLV) and the multi-billionaire Bernard Arnault’s private collection. Luckily, our group only had to wait 15 minutes outside the museum to get in, we had heard tat some people have left after standing outside for hours in an attempt to get in! Maybe the queue was short due to the heavy rain. In any case, the FLV staff came along and handed out white umbrellas to us. A very considerate touch, which showed a genuine interest in giving us a thoroughly good experience.
Not without a struggle….
The FLV was not built overnight and certainly not without a struggle. Several court battles over the right to build the Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne ended with a special law passed by the Assemblée Nationale stating that the Fondation was in the national interest and “a major work of art for the whole world”. Modern art does tend to divide opinion, but in this case the building was highly praised by a unanimous French press corps. Rumour has it that no one wanted to take the risk of upsetting the LVMH group…and its advertising department. But that is of course nothing but conjecture….
We made our way into the two-story structured building of 11 galleries, all of different sizes. We passed through an enormous auditorium and observed the two current exhibitions on show! It’s worth mentioning here, that the expositions included various examples of modern art; such as a unique collection by Olafur Eliason who, appeared to have purchased a piece of a meteor on Ebay. There was also a pink wig coming out of a box, a projection of a head talking about sex etc…. not really my taste but, in my opinion it did not matter at all because the Fondation Louis Vuitton building in itself is a masterpiece!
As we made our way through the building, we discovered the multi-level roof terraces, where we had the most beautiful (and quite wet) view of both La Défense skyline and the Eiffel Tower.
Walking through the terraces gave us a feeling of exploring new territory, and this enabled us to gain a very personal experience of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
This is a MUST-SEE!
If you are planning to take your family with you for an outing, consider booking the tickets online first to minimise the possibility of waiting in a queue! You may not be as lucky as us.
Also bear in mind that there are special activities designed for children which FLV has introduced into its programme. It includes weekend afternoon workshops for the whole family and planned sessions for children during the vacance. You can find out more details from their children and youth dept.
It’s open 12pm til 7pm every weekday, opening til 11pm on a Friday. At the weekend the hours are 11pm-8pm.
Free shuttle buses run from Place Charles de Gaulle, every fifteen minutes.
Prices vary so you can check out their price policy here – but broadly, adults are €14, children under 3 are free and family tickets cost about €32.
Until next time
Love MLP x
Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, 75116 Paris