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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 Marian Goodman

Art Galleries Le Marais

The veteran New York gallery owner can be counted on to pull out the stops with impressive shows from a roster of big international names, such as Gerhard Richter, William Kentridge and Steve McQueen.

Espace Topographie de l'Art
© DR

Espace Topographie de l'Art

Art Le Marais

A world away from the 'white cube', this hangar is reminiscent of industrial wasteland, all metal, glass and exposed stone, in constrast to the elegant galleries set in former hôtels particuliers elsewhere in the neighbourhood. This raw look is the perfect backdrop for the gallery’s smart programming, which covers drawing, photography and graphic design.

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Galerie Yvon Lambert

Art Galleries Le Marais

Lambert celebrated 30 years in the business in 2006, and remains a powerhouse of the French scene, with plenty of big-name stuff, a New York offshoot and a personal collection granted museum status in Avignon. The gallery includes a dedicated area for video installations, and the main space shows leading international names - American bigwigs Andres Serrano, Sol LeWitt, Nan Goldin and Jenny Holzer, plus next-generation artists Douglas Gordon and Jonathan Monk. The street-front art bookshop has a window showcase and basement gallery for younger talents.

Galerie Daniel Templon

Art Galleries Le Marais

A Paris institution since the 1960s and conveniently located opposite the Centre Pompidou, Galerie T mainly shows paintings - wall-friendly items for wealthy private collectors. Jean-Michel Alberola, GÈrard Garouste, Philippe CognÈe and Vincent Corpet all feature on the list, along with the American David Salle and German expressionist Jonathan Meese.

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Galerie Nathalie Obadia

Art Galleries 4e arrondissement

This gallery, located just around the corner from the Centre Pompidou, opened in 1993 and shows leading artsists such as Martin Barré, Lorna Simpson and Agnès Varda in a sleek, white space. A sister gallery opened in Brussels in 2008.

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