Mona Bismarck American cultural centre
This is an American museum, arts and cultural centre in Paris that was founded by Countess Mona Bismarck by bequeathing her property and belongings to set up a foundation in order to strengthen relations between the French and Americans.
About Mona Bismarck
Mona Bismarck was an American who lived a luxury and glamorous life after marrying Harrison Williams who was one of the wealthiest men in America, and she spent her time between New York, Palm Beach, Paris and Capri, but unfortunately he died in 1953.
Several years later, she married Count Edward von Bismarck, who had been a friend of hers for a long time, and had an impressive social circle with people such as Princess Grace of Monaco, President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, etc.
And Mona Bismarck was also renowned for her elegance and beauty that inspired many an artist including Salvador Dali, yet she also spent a lot of time in Paris within the elegant townhouse by the River Seine.
So, to continue her philanthropic activities with a view of gaining greater friendship between the French and Americans through arts and culture, she bequeathed the property and a large amount of her estate to set up a foundation in Paris, which was eventually set up in 1986, after her death in 1983.
About the Fondation Mona Bismarck American Arts and Culture Centre
The Fondation Mona Bismarck is known as a museum in Paris, yet also has the title of Mona Bismarck American Center of Arts and Culture, and it has kept the same ethos of fostering a French American friendship and understanding through art and culture, which was her desire.
And this means that even French school children are often exposed to different themed exhibitions to provide a greater understanding of different cultures, and one of the events for 2015 that all the family could enjoy was a talk in English by a tribal native American, that ended in music including traditional tribal and folk songs.
Other exhibitions have included Superheros and the art of Alex Ross, Quilt art, Mary Cassatt and photography by the artist Taryn Simon, who has some of her work permanently on display at places such as the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the Whitney Museum in New York and the Pompidou centre in Paris.
There are several different exhibitions and events held throughout the year at the Fondation Mona Bismarck American Cultural Center, and note that center is spelt the American way, rather than the English way, so there will be something for everyone to discover at one time or another, and these are always based around a theme or single artist.
Visiting the Mona Bismarck American Centre in Paris
You will find the Mona Bismarck American centre located in a townhouse in the 16th Arrondissement close to the River Seine and numerous other museums and tourist attractions in Paris.
It is normally open on a Tuesday through to a Saturday, yet is closed at all other times including on National French holidays plus the month of August, but the opening times do vary depending upon whether there is a temporary exhibition, a show or other cultural event taking place.
The shows, concerts and other organised events, along with the exhibitions do vary in cost and these could range from around €7 up to €30 as of 2014, yet some events such as one with an artist in 2015 has a cocktail reception afterwards.
Now when it comes to getting to the Fondation Mona Bismarck American Arts and Cultural Centre via public transport in Paris, the nearest Metro stations are the Alma - Marceau stop and the Iena stop both serving line 9, or the Trocadero stop that serves line 6 as well.
As for the RER train station, the nearest stop is called the Pont de l’Alma serving line C, but the bus numbers 32, 63, 72, 82 and 92 will get you close by, as will the Batobus, which is the water bus that has a docking station close to the Pont d’Iena and the Eiffel Tower.
Address and Contact Details
Mona Bismarck American Center
34 Avenue de New York
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 47 23 38 88
Tourist attractions close by
- River Seine
- Palais de Tokyo
- Musee Galliera
- Passerelle Debilly
- Musee du Quai Branly
- Musee Guimet
- Palais de Chaillot
- Eiffel Tower
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