Musee du Montparnasse museum in Paris
This museum was first created in 1951, but closed in the 1970s and it was not until the end of the 1980s that a new Montparnasse museum was created dedicated to the artists from this area of Paris within an artists studio, however, unfortunately as of the start of 2015 this has now CLOSED again.
A bit of history
It was a photographer by the name of Marc Veax, who was friends with numerous other artists from the Montparnasse area of Paris, who decided to create the Musee du Montparnasse back in 1951 in an area that was once home to the old Academy of Painting.
Marc Veax put together a collection of around 250,000 photographic works of all artists from the area, both past and present, and within the small space, he exhibited many of these and other documents, yet, unfortunately the collection was completely split up after Marc Veax died in 1971.
However, in the May of 1988, a photographer called Roger Pic and the French writer and documentary producer, Jean-Marie Drot, got together and founded the Chemin du Montparnasse, as a place of memory and cultural activity, which was to become the new Musee du Montparnasse.
After Roger Pic died in the December of 2001, Jean Digne became the president of this museum in Paris and has continued its mission to promote, protect and identify artists from the area, both past and present, famous or unknown, and with this the Archives of Montparnasse was born.
In 2003 the Montparnasse museum was enriched with a collection by Frans Krajcberg who is a sculptor and photographer that divides his time between Paris and Brazil, presenting the reflection of art in an ecological way, yet it closed its doors once more in 2015.
About the former Musee du Montparnasse
Originally at the atelier, or studio of the Musee du Montparnasse there was an area dedicated to presenting videos, photography, etc by artist Franz Krajcberg, which helped to illuminate the relationship between art and nature and the ecological combat for survival.
There was also a history section that related to artists and writers from around the world that had at one time or another been in the Montparnasse area of Paris, which enabled people to discover the diversity of the world through their different talents.
We mentioned above that there was an archive section and this part of the Musee du Montparnasse was all about maintaining and collecting documents such as period photographs, magazines and biographical information on artists of Montparnasse.
Also part of the original collection of Roger Pic was put back at the museum where it belonged, but it was also thanks to the many private donors that the section of the original collection had been enriched greatly, with works such as paintings, watercolours, drawings and photographs, along with many other objects that portray the artists of Montmartre and the area.
Incredibly, part of the history of the Musee du Montparnasse actually lies within where it is situated, as Marie Vassilieff, who was a Russian painter that studied under Henri Matisse, opened up an atelier or workshop on the avenue where the museum is situated.
In fact, this became a meeting place for many artists including Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani and Ossip Zadkine, as Marie Vassilieff turned the place into a private club to help struggling artists.
So up until 2015, just as in the past, members of the Musee du Montparnasse could get together on occasions where there were evening meetings held where they could enjoy a wide variety of cultural events.
Small concerts were also held in the former studio of Mary Vassilieff that has excellent acoustics, but these could only accommodate up to 50 people at a time, so booking was necessary, plus there used to be educational activities for groups available.
This was in addition to different events that were also organised throughout the year including temporary exhibitions and also group events such as receptions that could be arranged, but as we have mentioned previously, this museum is now CLOSED.
Visiting Musee du Montparnasse museum in Paris
The Musee du Montparnasse is now CLOSED but was found within the original studio of the Russian artist Marie Vassilieff, which is located just off the Avenue du Maine in a pretty alley, close to the Gare Montparnasse train station and the Tour Montparnasse Tower with the highest restaurant in Europe called the Ciel de Paris.
It was also within walking distance of many other tourist attractions in Paris such as the Musee Bourdelle, the Cimetiere du Montparnasse cemetery, the Jardin Atlantique which is actually located above the train station and home to the Musee Jean Moulin dedicated to the French Resistance fighter.
So while you are on holiday in Paris in this area, even though you cannot visit the Musee du Montparnasse, you could also discover the Musee Pasteur dedicated to Louis Pasteur, the Brasil Tropical, which is a Brazilian cabaret in Paris, plus many more attractions.
Access to the Musee du Montparnasse
Getting to the Montparnasse area with its numerous other tourist attractions is easy via the public transport in Paris, as you could utilise the Metro station called the Montparnasse-Bienvenue stop, which serves the lines 4, 6, 12 and 13.
Alternatively, the bus lines 28, 58, 82, 89, 91, 92, 95 and 96 along with the Noctilien Night Bus Service via lines N01, N02, N12, N13, N61, N62, N63, N66 and N145 will all get you close by.
In addition to these options, if you are travelling into or out of Paris via train, then the Gare Montparnasse serves the TER, TGV and Transilien trains, plus there is a bus stop here for Les Cars Air France, now called Le Bus Direct, which will get you to either Orly Airport or the Charles de Gaulle Airport.