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Musée Carnavalet
Photograph: B. Fougeirol

Museums and galleries in the Marais

A thriving art scene in Paris's pretty historical centre

By Time Out editors
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Museums

Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature

Museums Natural history Le Marais

A two-year overhaul turned the three-floor hunting museum from a musty old-timer into something really rather special. When it reopened in 2007, it had kept the basic layout and proportions of the two adjoining 17th-century mansions it occupies, but many of its new exhibits and settings seem more suited... 

Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme

Museums History Le Marais

It's fitting that a museum of Judaism should be lodged in one of the grandest mansions of the Marais, for centuries the epicentre of local Jewish life. It sprung from the collection of a private association formed in 1948 to safeguard Jewish heritage after the Holocaust. Pick up a free audio-guide in English to help you navigate through displays illustrating ceremonies... 

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Musée Carnavalet

Museums History Le Marais

Here, 140 chronological rooms depict the history of Paris, from pre-Roman Gaul to the 20th century. Built in 1548 and transformed by Mansart in 1660, this fine house became a museum in 1866, when Haussmann persuaded the city to preserve its beautiful interiors. Original 16th-century rooms house Renaissance collections, with portraits by Clouet and furniture and pictures... 

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Museums Science and technology Arts et Métiers

The 'arts and trades' museum is, in fact, Europe's oldest science museum, founded in 1794 by the constitutional bishop Henri Grégoire, initially as a way to educate France's manufacturing industry in useful scientific techniques. Housed in the former Benedictine priory of St-Martin-des-Champs, it became a museum proper in 1819; it's a fascinating, attractively laid out... 

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Atelier Brancusi

Museums Art and design 4e arrondissement

When Constantin Brancusi died in 1957, he left his studio and its contents to the state, and it was later moved and rebuilt by the Centre Pompidou. His fragile works in wood and plaster, the endless columns and streamlined bird forms show how Brancusi revolutionised sculpture.

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Galleries

Galerie Fait & Cause

Art Photography 4e arrondissement

Concentrating on the photography of social issues, Fait & Cause was created in 1997 by the group Pour Que l’Esprit Vive, who work to promote artworks on social wellbeing. The gallery isn’t just an exhibiton space, but also a campaign centre devoted to raising awareness and ‘the denunciation of injustice, inequality and misery’... 

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Galerie Xippas

Art Galleries Le Marais

Marais gallery Xippas has shown both emerging and successful contemporary French artists since 1990, and it’s probably one of the biggest in the capital space-wise, at 800 square metres. Visitors can expect painting, photography and sculpture as well as installations and video, spread out over two floors. The first floor hosts temporary exhibitions... 

Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin

Art Galleries Le Marais

Now installed in an elegant Marais hôtel particulier, Perrotin is one of the sharpest figures in town: not content with owning a gallery in Miami and a glossy magazine, he has recently jumped on the design bandwagon with shows by Robert Stadler and Eric Benqué. As well as the quirky Japanese set of Takashi Murakami, Mariko Mori et al, and... 

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Galerie Praz-Delavallade

Art Le Marais

Founded in 1989 by Bruno Delavallade and originally located in Bastille, the Praz-Delavallade gallery has now moved to the Marais where Bruno’s taste for California, and LA in particular, continues to hold sway. Some of the gallery’s favourite artists include contemporary works by Jim Shaw and Marnie Weber, as well as Joel Kyack... 

Galerie Particulière

Art Galleries Le Marais

Among the mass of galleries in the Marais, this is where contemporary art lovers in need of a little poetry end up. Founded in 2009, the Galerie Particulière is well named: between the enchanting folklore of Icelanding artist Adam Panczuk, the pastoral portraits of Claudine Doury and the sleek nudes of Mona Kuhn, the artists shown here... 

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