Night at the Museums

Three museums in four hours?  And all for free?  Oh yeah, baby!  It hadn’t even been a week of living in Europe, but I hit up La Nuit des Musées (Night at the Museums) with several friends.  On this night hundreds of museums open for free in France and several other countries, and this day only comes once a year.  And I’ve never experienced anything quite like it!

Musée des Augustins

Step into a world from centuries ago with its medieval, chateau-like architecture.  This museum showcases statues, sculptures and a beautiful courtyard.  Swantje, Caroline and I enjoyed the craft set out.  We drew designs onto small pieces of styrofoam, placed them on ink pads and then put them on the communal sheet of paper.  Caroline and I both drew cats (duh) while Swantje opted for a design.  This interactive art made my experience more enjoyable and memorable, but my favorite part of the museum easily was sitting out in the courtyard.IMG_2009IMG_2016IMG_2019

Musée Paul-Dupuy

Although small, this museum offered some enjoyment for our group.  It showcased a wide variety of art from photography of Asian monks to centuries-old clocks.  I appreciated the large windows upstairs where I took some fun pictures.IMG_2034

Les Abattoirs

Quoi? and Je ne sais pas were about the only things I can say about this museum of contemporary art.  I’m no hater of modern art; it’s actually quite interesting.  But this museum was a bit too interesting, meaning a video of raw meat being cut played on the wall.  Even more, much of the art included skeletons, old teeth or a doll head.  You won’t look at Barbies the same way—read: spooky.  However, being interested in journalism, I enjoyed a mural-meets-collage of newspapers.  I also enjoyed some of Niki de Saint Phalle’s art as she lived in my friend Swantje’s hometown for some time.  But outside the museum, electronic DJs played music, and we had fun dancing.  they had fun watching me move and groove!IMG_2046

Swantje, Caroline and I sat down to grab a bite after two museums, and Caroline asked if we wanted to go to another one.  I said, “Tomorrow?”  It was 10:30 p.m. by that time aka past my bedtime.  And she responded with “no, tonight!”  I’m learning that the French stay up late.  Even when we were walking back a bit before midnight after our third museum, the streets were bustling with people still eating and drinking at cafes.  It seemed as if the entire town was out to enjoy the night.  Even though I’m not fluent or “assimilated” if you will, I could feel the community throughout the city.  Until the next night at the museums!



{How have you experienced the culture in other countries?}

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