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The Jeu de Paume Arts Center in Paris

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Nestled in the heart of the Tuileries Garden, the Jeu de Paume Arts Center (or Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume) is a well-kept secret that will no doubt delight art and photography lovers. In fact, it’s one of Captain Ulysses’ favorite museums in Paris! 🤫

💡 The Captain’s tips 💡

🧐 Keen to delve into Paris’ rich history? Captain Ulysses suggests checking out this complimentary guided tour of the city. You decide how much to tip the guide!

💤 Searching for the perfect stay in Paris? Take a peek at Captain’s picks for the best places to stay: Where to stay in Paris? Tips & Recommendations.

👶 Planning a family adventure to Paris? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Paris with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities

The Jeu de Paume Arts Center in a few words

A museum nestled in the heart of the Tuileries Garden

Just like the Musée de l’Orangerie, the National Gallery of the Jeu de Paume is located in one of the most famous green spaces in Paris: the one and only Tuileries Garden.

The museum is also located within walking distance of many of the French capital’s most emblematic sites and monuments: the Place de la Concorde, the Louvre Museum, the Musée d’Orsay and the Place Vendôme.

National Gallery o the Jeu de Paume - Paris

Brief history of the National Gallery of the Jeu de Paume

The palm game (jeu de paume) courts of the Tuileries Garden

The building that now houses the Musée du Jeu de Paume was built in 1861, a little over ten years after the construction of the Tuileries orangery (now the Musée de l’Orangerie), which it was designed to be the counterpart of.

The museum owes its name to the primary function of the building… It was built to house palm game (“jeu de paume” in French) courts. Palm game?

Well, the game of palm is none other than the ancestor of a sport well known today… Any idea? Yes, it is tennis!

From sports field to museum

Designed in the Second Empire style, the building housing the current Jeu de Paume Arts Center was converted into an exhibition space in the early 20th century.

The National Gallery o the Jeu de Paume presents collections of modern and contemporary art featuring international artists.

Palm players in the 16th century

The Jeu de Paume Arts Center during the Second World War

During the Second World War, the Jeu de Paume Arts Center was emptied of its collections (which were transferred to the Château de Chambord) to store works of art confiscated from private collectors by the Nazi regime before being sent to Germany.

Fortunately, Rose Valland, a member of the Resistance and curator at the Jeu de Paume Arts Center, meticulously catalogued the works of art seized during the Occupation. During the war, she was in regular contact with the resistance fighters and the Allies to ensure that rail convoys carrying works of art and storage sites were spared from bombings.

At the end of the war, her endeavours made it possible to find the works sent to Germany so that they could be returned to their rightful owners.

The Jeu de Paume Arts Center after the Second World War

From the aftermath of World War II to 1986, the National Gallery of the Jeu de Paume exhibited Impressionist works, which were later transferred to the Musée d’Orsay.

In 1991, after five years of closure, the Jeu de Paume became a museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art.

In 2004, it was converted into the exhibition space dedicated to photography, cinema and multimedia that we know today.

Since 2010, the Jeu de Paume Arts Center has also been working in collaboration with the city of Tours on temporary exhibitions which photography lovers can discover in the Château de Tours in the Loire Valley.

In 2020-2021, the Jeu de Paume Museum was closed for renovation. It reopened in September 2021.

Visiting the Jeu de Paume Arts Center in Paris

Be warned, you won’t find any permanent collections in the Jeu de Paume Arts Center. With a surface area of 1,200 m2, it is a space entirely dedicated to temporary photography exhibitions (three exhibitions per year).

The Museum honors renowned or more confidential photographers and video artists. Among the emblematic exhibitions of the last few years, the gallery housed retrospectives dedicated to Gary Winogrand, Philippe Halsman or Dorothea Lange.

Find the program of the Jeu de Paume Museum directly on its website here.

FYI, the Jeu de Paume also housed a lovely shop/bookshop!

In the summer, the Rose Bakery café-terrace, overlooking the octagonal Tuileries basin, offers an ideal refuge for a moment of relaxation after browsing the museum’s exhibitions.

Jeu de Paume - MOMA masterpieces exhibition
Max Burchartz | Masterpieces of WOAgri (2021)

Access

Getting to the Jeu de Paume Arts Center

The Jeu de Paume Arts Center is located in the Tuileries Gardens, near the Place de la Concorde.

The nearest metro stations are Concorde (lines 1, 8, 12) and Tuileries (line 1). Numerous buses (lines 42, 45, 52, 72, 73, 84, 94, Concorde stop) – as well as

Hop-on hop-off sightseeing buses stop near the museum as well.

Opening hours

The Jeu de Paume Arts Center is open every day of the week except on Mondays:

  • From 11am to 9pm on Tuesday
  • From 11am to 7pm from Wednesday to Sunday

It is closed on May 1st, July 14 and December 25.

Admission rates

The entrance fee is 10 € full price, 7,50 € reduced price.

On the last Tuesday of each month, admission is free for students and visitors under 25.

Free guided tours are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m., upon presentation of an exhibition ticket.


👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and tours in advance!

👉 Looking for the perfect place to stay in Paris?

 

👉 Looking for advice and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation: Booking. For all the Captain’s advice and recommendations: Where to stay in Paris?

🎟️ Activities: GetYourGuide | Civitatis

⛵ Cruises: Seine River Cruises

🎫 Citypass: Paris Museum Pass

🚐 Transfers: Transfer to/from your hotel

🚌 Local Transportation: Hop-on Hop-off Bus | Batobus

✈️ Flights, Trains & Buses: Skyscanner


Credits
Wikimedia Commons

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