Paris Museums and Street Art

There are so many wonderful museums in Paris that it can be overwhelming when you start to plan your trip. How can I see them all? (Hint: you probably can’t!) Which one to go to first? How do I prioritize? Which is best? So much art, so little time. Even after going to Paris several times, I haven’t seen them all, but I’ll try to help guide you on how to choose the best experience for you.


  • Louvre Museum go at opening time, enter through Port de Lions entrance and go directly to the Mona Lisa-you can see from the picture below that we got a clear shot of her when we visited. You could spend a week at the Louvre and not see everything. Based on how much time you have there, prioritize what you want to see and go for it! You can book a guided tour or wander aimlessly like we like to do.


  • Musee Picasso is located in the heart of the Marais, one of my favorite neighborhoods. This museum is an art-filled oasis in a beautiful mansion with a courtyard cafe. Heaven! What I really appreciated was the pictures and stories about the artist himself. I’ve always enjoyed his art, but I never knew much about the man behind the art. I also love goats and there was quite the collection his goat art on display! More info:
    • The museum collection includes more than 5,000 works of art (paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, prints, engravings and notebooks) and tens of thousands of archived pieces from Picasso’s personal repository, including the artist’s photographic archive, personal papers, correspondence, and author manuscripts. A large portion of items were donated by Picasso’s family after his death, in accord with the wishes of the artist, who lived in France from 1905 to 1973. (Wikipedia)
  • Musee Rodin has both outdoor gardens with sculptures and an inside art museum Definitely plan a visit here on a sunny day so you can walk the gardens and enjoy the fabulous sculptures in their natural setting. More info:
    • While living in the Villa des Brillants, Auguste Rodin used the Hôtel Biron as his workshop from 1908, and subsequently donated his entire collection of sculptures – along with paintings by Vincent van GoghClaude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir that he had acquired – to the French State on the condition that they turn the buildings into a museum dedicated to his works. The Musée Rodin contains most of Rodin’s significant creations, including The ThinkerThe Kiss and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum’s extensive garden. The museum includes a room dedicated to the works of Camille Claudel and one of the two castings of The Mature Age.The gardens around the museum building contain many of the famous sculptures in natural settings. Behind the museum building are a small lake and casual restaurant. Additionally, the nearby Métro stop, Varenne, features some of Rodin’s sculptures on the platform. The building is served by Métro (Line 13), RER (Line C: Invalides) and bus (69, 82, 87, 92). (Wikipedia)

Musee Marmottan Monet showcases all Monet all the time and is the perfect museum for the Monet superfan, which I am. We went to his home in Giverny on another Paris trip-see separate blog post on that adventure! This museum flies under the tourist radar. The day we visited we were one of the few visitors, allowing us to sit (yes-there are benches!) and just soak in the panorama of Monet art. My husband took the panorama shot below of the empty gallery when we got there-Monet all to ourselves.



We love to wander the streets of Paris and look for street art, whether it’s a mural or artistically hung umbrellas. Make sure you allow enough time to see this type of art. Enjoy the journey!

See the Andrew Wyeth Exhibit at SAM!

Experiencing the Andrew Wyeth in Retrospect exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum is a day well spent, especially on a rainy Seattle Sunday.  Room after room filled with amazing art.  Damn.  I’m in such awe of this artistic talent.

When my antique phone couldn’t download the app for the SAM audio tour, I forked over $4 to rent the old school technology wand to listen to the audio tour.  How embarrassing!

Quite the scoundrel, Wyeth painted up until his death at age 91, sneaking away starting at age 53 to secretly paint a neighbor’s caregiver, Helga, in the nude during a 15 year period without telling his wife.  Oops.  Of course, this was after he had started doing other nudes in a dramatic pivot to erotic art and his wife, Betsy, had told him, “If you do this again, don’t tell me.”  So, he didn’t share and painted nude Helga privately while also cranking out landscapes that he DID show his wife.  Hmmm….


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Wyeth’s muse, Helga


I appreciate the audio tour interpretation of the paintings because I gaze upon them and think simplistically, “pretty picture” when I should be seeing all kinds of imagery and subtexts telling me about the meaning of life.  Nope.  Not unless I’m told by the kindly intelligent audio guide do I see the “death as a subtext” message and “sex as a rebirth” theme.  I’m an idiot but I do enjoy viewing art as did the huge crowd packing the museum today.

One masterpiece did speak to me, after the audio guide explained that “Snow Hill” was a memorial piece created in 1989 and dedicated to his models, both living and dead, symbolizing renewal and reevaluation of life’s purpose.  The models dancing around the May Pole was quite evocative.  Well done, Wyeth.

Snow Hill symbolizing renewal

Wyeth painted in tempura and watercolor and pencil sketches.  The attention to detail was incredible especially the blades of grass in the landscapes.  His dad was a famous illustrator who taught him starting at 15 years old.  Wyeth sold out his first NYC show at the ripe old age of 22 and continued to paint until he died in 2018.  He is known for his realism.


“I search for the realness, the real feeling of a subject, all the texture around it…I always want to see the third dimension of something…I want to come alive with the object.”              -Andrew Wyeth

The exhibit will be at the SAM until January 15, 2018.  In addition to the paintings and sketches, the SAM has done a nice job incorporating videos about Wyeth’s life and an interactive area with touch screen devices where you can create your own art.  I highly recommend it.  Enjoy!

Freak Alley is place to be in Boise

If you are lucky enough to explore Boise, you have to check out Freak Alley.  What surely used to be an ugly alley in downtown Boise has been creatively reimagined into an outside gallery that will stun you with the level of street art on display.freak alley

Billed as the “largest outdoor gallery in the Northwest”, Freak Alley began in 2002 as an artistic expression and grew into a multi-faceted lane showcasing superior talent that will blow you away.

I love Boise and the diversity found here whether in the art, the food (check out the Basque paella on Wednesday and Fridays at noon), and the spirits of all kinds from wine to craft beer to tasty cocktails.  We love our second home here and look forward to spending more time in Boise this summer.