Q: My sister and I are headed to Paris this summer and didn't realize the Musee d'Orsay will be closed. Can you recommend other art museums to visit?
A: Until March 2011, major renovation work has closed the upper floor Impressionist and Post-Impressionist galleries and the four levels of the Pavillon amont at the d'Orsay.
However, renovations won't entirely close the museum. You can still see a large collection of Courbet's realist paintings, the early works of Manet, Monet and Cezanne, and French and Belgian Art Nouveau masterpieces. Check out "Visiting the Museum Today" at www.musee-orsay.fr/en/home.html to see which floors are open and what's on display.
Obviously, this very abbreviated offering from the d'Orsay won't satisfy most art lovers. Here are a few other Paris museums worth checking out:
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—Louvre Museum: This one tops the lists of many visitors because of the Mona Lisa, but there is considerably more to see — the permanent collection contains 35,000 masterpieces. The works include Roman, Greek and Egyptian antiquities; French and Italian sculptures; German, Flemish, Dutch, Italian and French paintings and art dating to the Middle Ages. An extensive temporary collection includes "Meroe, Empire on the Nile," on display through Sept. 6. Details: www.louvre.fr; 011-33-140-205-177.
—Pompidou Center: Easy to spot because of colorful pipes on its exterior, the Pompidou is home to modern art. The impressive collection highlights the Dada and Surrealism movements and includes works by Warhol, Rothko, Kandinsky and Picasso. The museum also hosts live productions and films and includes a panoramic view of the city from the sixth floor. Details: www.centrepompidou.fr; 011-33-892-684-694.
—Musee Marmottan-Claude Monet: The evolution of Monet's work is documented through his paintings, watercolors, pastels and drawings. Details: www.marmottan.com; 011-33-144-965-033.
—Musee National Eugene Delacroix: In the home where the artist lived and died, you can see his paintings, memorabilia, letters and more. Details: www.musee-delacroix.fr; 011-33-144-418-650.
—Grand Palais: The glass exhibition hall built to house the 1900 World Exposition is now home to the national art galleries. Details: www.grandpalais.fr; 011-33-144-131-717.
—Musee National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet: The museum is recognized as having one of the world's best collections of Asian art. www.guimet.fr; 011-33-156-525-300.
—Musee Jacquemart-Andre: Here you will find a diverse collection of French, Flemish and Italian Renaissance art. Details: www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com.
Also, a final note for Picasso lovers: The Musee Picasso is completely closed for renovations through 2012.