Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Paris Museum of Modern Art) is the museum dedicated to the art of the 20th/21st centuries. It is located at 11 Avenue du Président Wilson in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.
The museum is settled in the eastern wing of the Palais de Tokyo constructed for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technology in 1937. Its official opening as the Paris Museum of Modern Art took place 24 years later. It’s now divided into two collection areas of Modern Art and Contemporary Art.
The museum collections include over 8,000 works illustrating various trends of the art of the 20th century. There are exhibitions of major movements and artists highlights from the European scene of the 20th century, but also monographic and thematic exhibitions which present main trends in today’s art. Temporary exhibitions run every six weeks.
Among thousands of works you can see those of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani and Fernand Léger. A short time ago the museum has started partnership with three other museums located nearby to form Colline des musées (Hill of museums).
The Paris Museum of Modern Art was inaugurated in 1961 in the facilities of Palais de Tokyo. Six years later it presented its first exhibition. The museum has undergone several modernisations; first of them started ten years after its foundation.
On May 20, 2010, the museum reported the overnight theft of five paintings from its collection. The paintings taken were valued at €100 million. The stolen artworks were painted by most recognisable artists among those presented here. The thief removed the paintings from its frames, which he left behind. It has been described as the ‘heist of the century’.
Three people are in custody in connection with the investigation, but the paintings remain unaccounted for. Rumour says artworks were destroyed by one of the suspects, but investigators have not confirmed this information. On the other hand, the paintings are unique so they can’t be sold and they probably grace the house of some extraordinary wealthy man.
The facility was built in late ‘30s for an international exhibition that took place there. From an architectural standpoint, it represents the Art Deco style. The museum has undergone many modernisations to adapt it to the collection which gets bigger every year.
The Palais de Tokyo, which houses Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris, is the work of Jean-Claude Dondel, André Aubert, Paul Viard and Marcel Dastugue, and was designed as part of the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in 1937. They built a sober and monumental facility, consisting of two perfectly symmetrical wings separated by a fountain and stairs. The building receives a large outdoor sculptural decoration.
Throughout its relatively short history, the building experienced a lot of refurbishments. The first project after opening, started in January 1971, under the direction of Pierre Faucheux and Michel Jausserand, was completed a year later. The rooms on the ground floor were fitted up by clearing the building structure of multiple existing internal partitions.
The initial plan was modified; they created a floor that divided the old lobby, a mezzanine for offices and documentation centre, an auditorium rooms connected by a new footbridge at two levels and a lift to serve all levels of the museum.
Twenty years later, funds were again pledged to rebuild the air conditioning system of temporary exhibition rooms on the ground floor and make these accessible to disabled. It was an opportunity for the new museum director to pursue a true restoration of the building. This operation was conducted in early ‘90s. During the same modernization, the hall behind the forecourt entrance was darkened and called ‘Matisse Room’. In addition, the enclosed spaces of the basement were restored to the museum so it gained a dark room.