Paris - Ile De France

Palais de Tokyo - Musee Art Moderne Paris

This page was updated on: Friday, January 3, 2020 at: 11:00 am

Palais de Tokyo - foundation

The Palais de Tokyo is dedicated to contemporary international art currents and addresses an eclectic public.

The terraced patios and fountains face the river Seine and slope towards the Avenue de New-York.

This street was known as Avenue de Tokyo from 1918 to 1945, hence the building's name.

The creation of the Palais de Tokyo is the result of an architectural competition opened in 1934 by the City of Paris and the French State.

Both were indeed eager to create a new building in order to host some of the Petit Palais collections (owned by the City of Paris) and Jeu de Paume and Palais du Luxembourg (owned by the French State).

The project of the architects Jean-Claude André Aubert Dondel, Marcel Paul and Viard Dastugue was selected among the 128 projects in competition.

Museum of Modern Art

The wings of the U-shaped Palais de Tokyo host two museums* of Modern Art.

The building was inaugurated on May 24, 1937 as Palais des Musées d'Art Moderne - Palace of the Museums of Modern Art on the occasion of the International Exhibition Arts and Technology in Modern Life.

The eastern wing, the property of the City of Paris, accommodates the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, which was founded in 1961.

The French State founded the Musée National d'Art Moderne - National Museum of Modern Art in the western wing in 1947.

It then transferred it to the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1977.

However, the wing is still the property of the French State.

It accommodated various museums and establishments until March 2002 when it reopened as Site de création contemporaine - Site for contemporary creation.

This establishment focuses on French and international contemporary art.

It includes the Pavilion Neuflize OBC, the creative laboratory of the Palais de Tokyo, founded in 2001 by the artist Ange Leccia, who has since been running it.

Ten young international artists of all disciplines and a curator are invited each year for a period of eight months.

The Palais de Tokyo was enlarged in 2012 from 8,000 m² to 22,000 m²; it is one of the largest sites dedicated to contemporary art in Europe!

Detail monumental frieze

Art Deco Palais de Tokyo

The U-shaped building is composed of two perpendicular wings that frame the riverside terraces.

Several flights of steps connect them in order to compensate for the unevenness of the ground.

A portico framed with a U-shaped colonnade links their upper sections.

The Palais de Tokyo is a perfect illustration of Art Deco architecture.

It's an interesting mix of classic and modern styles, which include symmetrical monumental facades, columns and decorations.

These were built with lightweight concrete and adorned with limestone slabs.

The various sculptures and statues reflect the purpose of the building.

They indeed represent Apollo the Greek God of Arts surrounded by nymphs and centaurs.

The sculptor Alfred Janniot (1889 - 1969) created the monumental allegory - Allégorie à la gloire des Arts or Légende de la Terre et de la Mer.

The 300 m2 adorns the base of the terrace and southern facade.

The Palais de Tokyo is a Must Visit if you like modern art and Art Deco architecture.

Others will enjoy a drink on the terrace of its small tearoom, as it boasts great views of the Seine and Eiffel Tower.

Directions: 16th district - 13, avenue du Président Wilson
Metro: Iéna et Alma Marceau on Line 9
RER Ligne C: Station Pont de l’Alma
Coordinates: Lat 48.864510 - Long 2.296990

*Opening hours
From noon to midnight every day except Tuesday
Annual Closure 1Jan, 1May and 25Dec
Exceptional closure at 18h on 24Dec and 31Dec

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