Musee de l’Homme Museum of Mankind
The Musee de l’Homme basically translates to the Museum of Mankind, and is a unique museum in Paris devoted to the natural and cultural history of man through evolution and the human adventure, plus the collections held within it are among the first in the world in this field of science and exploration.
A bit of history on Musee de l‘Homme..
Originally in the late 1700s, Paris started to see more of an interest in human anatomy and anthropology at the Musee d’Histoire Naturelle, especially with the explorations that had started to be conducted all over the world.
Then later on in 1800 there was a society set up called La Societe des Observateurs de l’Homme, which was designed to bring together knowledge from the museum of natural history, the school of medicine and many other different institutions along with the field of anthropology.
And eventually, by 1878 a physician and anthropologist by the name of Ernest Theodore Hamy, presented a collection from Africa, the Pacific, America, etc which was established within the Palais de l’Industrie des Champs-Elysees, the same year as the World Fair or Universal Exposition that was being held in Paris.
In 1879, due to the success of this short exhibition that only lasted six weeks, a museum was created within the Palais du Trocadero that had been built for the World Fair the year before, called the Musee d’Ethnographie du Trocadero.
The Musee d’Ethnographie du Trocadero eventually opened its doors to the public in the April of 1882 and was to provide insight into evolution of man from prehistoric times through to the rural French man of the day, basing the collection and exhibits on the conceptions of that time with the limited scientific and biological knowhow they had during the 1800s.
By 1889, which was the year when the city of Paris was again holding the Universal Exposition and the Eiffel Tower was built, the museum had evolved even more and included a display of reconstructed African villages, similar to what you would have seen at the Musee Grevin, wax works museum in Paris.
This was also a time where anthropologists could conduct studies on man from other countries around the world, such as Angola, Algeria and Madagascar, but the museum started to become more of a curiosity cabinet which meant that the fascination had started to drift.
That is until 1928 when an American anthropologist by the name of Paul Rivet became the director the Musee Ethnographie du Trocadero. His visions were to have a complete multi-disciplinary institution that would combine a university, a museum, a research laboratory and a library.
Eventually this concept became the museum come laboratory of ethnology and the Musee de l’Homme was born in 1937, which was installed within the new Palais de Chaillot, that was the new building constructed on the same site of the original Palais du Trocadero that was destroyed prior.
The Musee de l’Homme or the museum of mankind is a completely unique museum where people could discover the natural and cultural history of mankind through scientific research and discoveries.
And this museum continued up until 2008, when the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Valerie Pecresse, issued a grant for the renovation of the Musee de l’Homme Museum of Mankind, which will re-open its doors again in 2014.
About the Musee de l’Homme
Since it was first started in 1937 by Paul Rivet, the Musee de l’Homme is still dedicated to the human adventure with the objective showing the human presence on earth in its prehistoric dimensions, the biological, ecological, the cultural, sociological and the latest perceptions through science and technology today.
It will be able to provide information and displays on the evolution of man over the millions of years, be able to ensure people understand the diversity of humanity throughout the world, and realisation that each of us is unique.
Another part will also highlight the ongoing interaction with man and nature, which also relates to climate change and how man has an impact on the world around us. But yet another part will also look at social life, the brain and behaviour, the mental and spiritual worlds, our dreams and hopes for the future along with population movements, food, climate and the realisation of the consequences of different actions that affect the planet and mankind.
In fact, the collections at the Musee de l’Homme are amongst the first in the world in their field including fossils, a collection of flint, the first art of mankind carved in ivory and there is a complete series of around 18,000 skulls that are unique in the world and even include the skull of the philosopher Descartes.
There are going to be anatomical waxes on display along with a very important collection on Egyptian mummification and much more to fuel the imagination and for continued study and research, just as this museum in Paris was first meant to.
Access to the Musee de l’Homme Museum in Paris
Unfortunately, the museum is currently closed for the renovations until 2014, which could possibly be until the end of the year, but when it does re-open, it will take people into the 21st century for a place of wonder and questions, but many of which will be answered.
However, when you do wish to go and visit the Musee de l’Homme Museum of Mankind, it is situated in the Palais de Chaillot, which is overlooking the Jardins du Trocadero, the River Seine and over the other side to the Eiffel Tower.
It is located in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris and the nearest Metro station is called the Trocadero on lines 6 or 9.
More information on Palais de Chaillot and its Gardens
- The Palais de Chaillot
- Jardins du Trocadero Gardens
- Musee de la Marine Museum
- Cite de L’Architecture et du Patrimoine Museum
- History of Cite de L’Architecture et du Patrimoine
- CineAqua Aquarium Underneath Palais Chaillot
- Zen Cafe Inside CineAqua
- Theatre National de Chaillot
Related photo images
- Photos of the Trocadero Gardens
- Photos of the Palais de Chaillot
Musee de l'Homme
Palais de Chaillot
17 Place du Trocadero
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 44 05 72 72
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