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Art Collection in House in Woods Area - near Paris

Art Collection in House in Woods Area - near Paris

Old Jun 20th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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Art Collection in House in Woods Area - near Paris

I have been to Paris a number of times. I have heard that there is a large, wonderful collection of paintings, that were hidden and saved from the Nazis, in a large house located somewhere (perhaps in a woodsy suburban area) in the outskirts of Paris. I can't remember the name of it and of course its location. So I've never seen it, and I am going to Paris this summer and would like to try and find out the name of this amazing art display. Does anyone know anything about this? Please give any info that you may have. Merci beaucoup.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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I've never heard of anything like that. The art experts and curators at the Louvre and the govt. of Paris made a lot of effort to get paintings out of the city to avoid Nazi seizure into areas in the country, but I think most of those were in the south of France. And they also helped private individuals at the same time with major collections (meaning they were going to the same places). Within the last few years, the French govt has made a major effort to try to get back to the owners all the art they have that was seized by the Germans, some repatriated. They still show what they have in various museums in Paris.

But as for your question, which sounds like some private family who hid its art itself somewhere and that is now a museum, I have not heard of anything like that. There is the Nissim Camondo museum in Paris itself which is the home of a former Jewish family with an important art collection that managed to survive WWII, but obviously that's not out in the country. And the reason it survived was because the famiy had already turned it over to the French govt. before WWII.

There are some items in the Chateaux Malmaison just outside Paris (but not really in any woods) that were seized by the Nazis and are on display there, but not a big art collection.

Where did you hear about this amazing display of paintings?
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Do you perhaps mean Musee Marmottan Monet? It is located near Bois de Boulogne.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 01:40 PM
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Thank you both very much.

No, it's not the Marmottan. We love that museum and have been there a couple of times (and will probably go again now).

I'm thinking (from what you say) that perhaps it is the Nissim Camondo museum. I think that what I am referring to is actually the home and former art collection of a Jewish family. As I tried to say, I don't recall the name, location, etc. (and don't even remember how I heard about this). Where in Paris is it located? Anything else you can tell us about this museum? I have not seen it listed in any guide book. Thanks so much!
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 02:42 PM
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My husband and I went to the Musee Nissim de Camondo last year and it was one of the highlights of our trip. It's near Parc Monceau and the surrounding neighborhood is a nice one to walk around in. We'd read The Hare with Amber Eyes and one of the houses from that book is near the museum so that was another reason we wanted to visit that area.

The museum is great if you like decorative arts--it has a nice audio tour so you can walk around at your own pace--there were only a handful of other visitors when we were there which also made it a more pleasant experience. The story of the family who owned the house is very sad and touching. It's named after the owner's son who died in WWI.

We had visited Versailles the day before and it was interesting because quite a lot of the furnishings at the museum Nissim de Camondo were originally from Versailles--

We bought sandwiches from a nearby café/deli and ate lunch in the park (the museum backs right onto Parc Monceau)--it was great people watching.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 02:53 PM
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It's a museum owned by the French govt, I've always known about it that I can recall. I always use the regular city entertainment guides when in Paris, they list everything, all museums of any kind, etc. (like Pariscope, on the newsstands). It should be in most guideboooks, it is in Fodors
http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/f...ass:30978.html

It's included in a combined ticket with the Dec. Arts museum, I think. http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/engl...e-camondo-742/

It's right in Paris, not in any forest outside it, but it is near a park.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 02:57 PM
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The story, as I recall it, was that the Nazis tried to seize the Nissim de Camondo collection of art because the family was Jewish. The City of Paris (bless their acquisitive little French hearts) said, "No Way!", because the owner had donated his collection to the City in honor of his son.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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Very interesting house and art collection. It is in guide books as I went there about 10 years ago and found it in a guide book (or perhaps it was mentioned in multiple guide books). It was listed in a 1995 Let's Go Paris guide (I grabbed a book at random and checked).
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 07:19 PM
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Yes, Musee Nissim de Camondo sounds like what I meant. Thank you very much everyone for all the helpful info. We definitely plan on going there. I will further check the guidebooks and of course the city entertainment guides when in Paris. Again, many thanks!
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 06:59 AM
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I don't know about that story, if the Nazis wanted something, they just took it. Furthermore, the city of Paris and the French govt was very busy secreting some of their own art in the country, so if all they had to do was say "no way" to the Nazis, they wouldn't have had to do that.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:14 AM
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Here is a quote from a New York Times article from 2010, Christina:

"Perhaps the most hauntingly beautiful museum in all of Paris is the Musée Nissim de Camondo, the former home of a family of Ottoman-French Jewish art collectors. Unlike so many other collections owned by Jews, this one remained untouched. In a twist of fate, the family donated it to France before the war, and so it was incorporated into the same union of museums as the Louvre. This saved the extraordinary art inside, yet could not protect the Camondos. A memorial plaque outside the museum tells of the family members killed at Auschwitz."
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:24 AM
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it's located on the edge of Parc Monceau..
I was fascinated with the collection. There's a Buddha
donated by one of Colette's weird friends.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 07:26 AM
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p'S. no woods there, it's in town, you can see the Parc in the film GIGI.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Yes, that quote from the NYT is what I already had read about it, it doesn't say they said "no way", etc. It said the French govt. owned it because the family had given it to them before, and the govt. took measures to save all their major important art just like they did many others works of art in Paris, including the Mona Lisa and with other large objects, it was quite a production.

The entertainment guides like Pariscope and l'Officiel des Spectacles are very useful simple listings of all the museums (and films and plays and concerts, etc.) with their opening hours and fees, and just a brief summary of what they are (like fine art or history). It wouldn't give you a long description about a museum to include its history, etc.
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 10:48 AM
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The Nissim-Camondo is one of my favorite places in Paris -- but i isn't in/near any woodland.

A really lovely house and such a sad family story. Just illustrates how great wealth sure can't ensure happiness.
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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Thank you all very much for this information. We will go to the Musee Nissim de Camondo. I am sure that's the place I was trying to locate! I just finished reading The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal. Thank you for recommending it, outwest. (I actually have a small netsuke collection; so I was especially intrigued). As you mentioned, we will be interested in seeing the area near Parc Monceau, having read this book. It was a great read, full of many details. In all our visits to Paris thus far, we have not yet visited this museum; we look forward to it. We will be on a riverboat cruise, and afterwards we will be spending a few days in Paris. Again, many thanks!
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Old Jul 31st, 2013, 02:40 PM
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We have returned home from our wonderful riverboat trip in France. It was a truly delightful way to travel along the Seine from Paris to Normandy, and back. We did visit the Musee Nissim de Camondo while staying in Paris for a few extra days. We enjoyed the beautiful house and art collection very much. It was also nice to walk around the neighborhood and Parc Monceau. Thank you all very much for your information about this special museum. We are so glad that we finally discovered it.
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