During the Années Folles the house at 6, Impasse de la Défense sheltered a ballroom, a cabaret and a ‘love hotel’ where the bawdy crowds of the 18th arrondissement came to shake their stuff to the airs of the accordion. Then, in the aftermath of WW2, the dance hall became one of the biggest betting shops in France...
Museums and galleries in Montmartre
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The former covered market in the shadow of Sacré-Coeur specialises in art brut, art outsider and art singulier from its own and other collections.
This wonderful museum combines the small private apartment of Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826-98) with the vast gallery he built to display his work - set out as a museum by the painter himself, and opened in 1903. Downstairs shows his obsessive collector's nature with family portraits, Grand Tour souvenirs and a boudoir devoted to the object of his unrequited love...
Set in an apartment where Piaf lived at the age of 18, when she sang on the streets of Ménilmontant, this tiny museum consists of two red-painted rooms crammed with letters, pictures, framed discs and objects belonging to the singer.Curator Bernard Marchois doesn't speak English. It helps, therefore, to have seen the Marion Cotillard film before you go, to allow you to piece together the scrapbook of Piaf's highly mythologised life. The museum's real treasures are two letters, one a chatty number written on her 28th birthday, and another more passionate pen to actor Robert Dalban.These - and the well-worn, human-sized teddy bear cuddling a tiny monkey soft toy - are the only clues to the real Piaf, the greatest singer the nation has ever known.
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