The Tale of Two Museums

4 weeks.  I guess I am still counting.

Life is somewhat back to order.  If you call having your back inspected at every major store and museum and sometimes being wanded being normal.  The new normal.

But still there is a shortage of tourists.

I am not letting this shortage go to waste, however.  I am visiting all the usually packed places.  Last week I went to the d’Orsay early for the Splendors and Miseries exhibit – all about prostitution.  I do get in 30 minutes early because I am a member of the d’Orsay.  But still.  Empty.  And stayed empty for some time.  I have had my conversation meeting there with one friend several times since and each time it is uncrowded.  No line.  Unheard of four weeks ago.  Yesterday we chatted for 2 hours and I went earlier for lunch – so I was there for 3 hours.  There were empty tables around me the entire time.  Today at my conversation near the Louvre, there was only one Asian tour walking by the café during our 2 hours – usually at least three go by.

But I digress.  Revenons a nos moutons, as they say in French.  Really, they do – it means, let’s get back to our sheep…  I have no idea!

So, the sheep… the Tale of Two Museums.

Two major museums were recently reopened after extensive and lengthy renovations.  The Picasso.  The Rodin.

The first was very disappointing.  The Picasso is situated in a hotel particular in the Marais.  A grand old mansion.  I remember it from before, and frankly, I don’t see much improvement.  And I find the collection to be skimpy.  I thought this was THE museum for Picasso and I have seen more famous Picasso works on tours – in Philadelphia, in Paris at other museums, and even San Francisco.  And I don’t even feel like it gave a good sense of his various periods.  Total experience – a Trip Advisor 3 rating.

On the other hand, the Rodin museum…  It too is located in a hotel particular near Les Invalides, the Hotel Biron –  Rodin actually rented there.  I was never quite sure if he purchased it as some point, but at the end, I think he had the whole place to himself.  Earlier it was divided into rooms rented by several people.  They had a fascinating video showing the extent of the renovations – all the flooring was removed, special weight bearing panels were installed and then covered by parquet.  The Kiss weights 2.5 tons!  And they created a special Biron Grey paint to complement the sculptures.  Clearly, much thought was given.  And it seemed to me that there were more pieces exhibited than before.  So much Rodin.  Clearly, this is HIS museum.  Where to go to see his spectacular work.  Trip Advisor rating: 10.

Winter is setting in.  It was 41 out yesterday when I got up with a “feels like” 34.  Two hours later that moved up to “feels like” 35.  Brrr.

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