"A Tragic Time Machine" Musee Nissim de Camondo Tip by ExGuyParis

Musee Nissim de Camondo, Paris: 3 reviews and 7 photos

  Frozen in Time: The Nissim de Camondo Museum
by ExGuyParis

While taking a walk during lunch, a few blocks from my office, I discovered the Musée Nissim de Camondo. I didn't know this place existed, but now I have to place it high on the list of my favorite Parisian museums.

The museum was once a private home belonging to the Camondo family. Count Moise Camondo donated his Parisian home to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs upon his death in 1935 as a memorial to his only son, Nissim, a pilot who was killed in aerial combat in 1917.

Moise was a collector of 18th Century decorative arts, and the museum is dazzling from several perspectives. There are objects woven to history-- tables and vases that belonged to Marie Antoinette, carpets that were in the palace at Versailles. But more interesting is the sense of the whole; an amazing ensemble, all as it was in 1935. The kitchen of the house is fascinating, with its huge stove and servant dining room.

The mansion originally belonged to Moise's parents. After he inherited it, Moise had the house rebuilt in 1912 to fit the style of his 18th century collections.

As you stroll through the rooms, viewing the incredible furniture, art, carpets, and architectural details, you really get a feel for how the wealthy lived. Be sure to appreciate the suggestive engravings outside Moise's bedroom. In one, a servant suggests to her mistress that rather than asking for an enema, she should find a husband!

Moise's cousin Isaac de Camondo also was an avid art collector. He donated his collection, which included a large collection of Impressionist works, to the Louvre in 1911. Many of his donations are now on display at the Musée d'Orsay.

Tragedy continued to haunt the Camando family. Moise's only other child, B?atrice, was killed at Auschwitz along with her husband, son, and daughter.

The museum is at 63, rue Monceau, in the 8th; it borders Parc Monceau. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am until 5:30 pm. Entrance is 6 € (reduced rate: 4.50 €).

Metro: Villiers or Monceau.

Phone: 01 53 89 06 50
Website: http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/english-439/nissim-de-camondo-742/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 1, 2012
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