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through April 2
Looking for an unusual, Frenchy souvenir? At Bon Marché in the 7th is the amusing ‘Heard at Bon Marché’ – funny snippets of conversation one might expect to hear in an upscale Paris department store. Our favorites: ‘Je suis allergique au beige sauf si c’est un beige hystérique’ (I’m allergic to beige, unless it’s hysterical beige) and ‘C’est joli ce que vous portez – Je sais’ (That’s lovely what you’re wearing – I know). Tote bags, clutches and other merchandise available online as well as in-store.
through April 29
Paris loves its firefighters, and a new free exhibition at the Hôtel de Ville is a celebration of their courage and derring-do. Pompiers de Paris - Notre mission: Sauver (‘Our mission: to save’) shows the history of Paris’ fabled firefighters through photographs, objects, documents and other material from the archives.
through May 22
The big exhibition of the spring looks set to be Vermeer at the Louvre, which promises to bring his greatest masterpieces and set them alongside those of his contemporaries to show how he was part of a dynamic network of ‘Golden Age’ artists. Admission (including the permanent collections) €15, open daily (except Tuesdays) 9am to 6pm, until 9.45pm Wednesdays and Fridays.
through July 10
One of the city’s most charming small museums, the Musée Jacquemart-André in the 8th arrondisement, presents a collection of 52 works from the outstanding collection of Alicia Koplowitz – from old masters like Zurbarán, Tiepolo and Goya to modern works by Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Modigliani, Rothko Giacometti and Bourgeois. Entry €13.50.
March 8 to July 16
Musée Bourdelle, a charming exhibition space in Montparnasse which was once the studio of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, is housing an exhibition of haute couture from Balenciaga, with over a hundred pieces from the Palais Galliera collection and the archives of Maison Balenciaga. The exhibition is part of a Spanish season by Paris’ museum of fashion, Palais Galliera, with other exhibitions to follow through the year.
The 94th annual Foire de Chatou gathers nearly 500 antique and second-hand dealers at île des Impressionnistes, 10 minutes from Paris. This year they’re celebrating French style – expect high quality goods from vintage jewellery to industrial furniture, mid-century lighting to 18th century antiquities. Plus regional French foods, oysters and both a cocktail and a champagne bar! Entry €6 (free for under-15s); there’s a free shuttle bus from RER station Rueil-Malmaison.
March 14 to June 25
The Musée D’Orsay’s big spring show is Beyond the Stars: the Mystical Landscape from Monet to Kandinsky, focusing on the Symbolist artists of the late 19th century. In a reaction against science and naturalism, they evoked emotion and mystery through contemplative landscapes; this exhibition shows works by European artists like Gauguin, Denis and Van Gogh, and North American painters such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Emily Carr (the exhibition is organised with the Art Gallery of Toronto).
Vivre Autrement is an ethical and organic trade show at the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes. Stands cover food, wine, home, beauty, and travel. Entry €7, or you can subscribe for free entry on the website.
Tickets for the French Open at Roland Garros (May 22 to June 11) go on sale today. Book ASAP to get yours, they always go fast!
As you’ll know if you’ve been to Paris, this is a city that loves books. The Paris book fair, Livre Paris, is a major cultural event; this year there’ll be almost 3000 authors signing their books and speaking, and over 800 events and activities. Buy books, watch debates and see behind-the-scenes of the world of publishing. Entry is €8, or €10 on the weekend, at Porte de Versailles.
Other Paris Calendar Links
- For French Theatre with English Surtitles: Theatre in Paris
- For general events around Paris: Que Faire à Paris?
- For literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing
- For indie/alternative music concerts see Gigs in Paris
- For art exhibitions in galleries and museum see Slash Paris
- For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism