Paris Insider: Three Great Museum Exhibitions for Spring 2024

It’s an exceptional spring for the museums of Paris, with a diverse range of exhibitions across the city, from blockbusters to intimate photo portraits to Olympic-related shows. Here are our three top choices. 

"Brancusi" at Centre Pompidou

Probably the biggest blockbuster exhibition this spring is the "Brancusi" at Centre Pompidou. One of the greatest sculptors of the early to mid-20th century, Brancusi elevated the art form with his daring and sometimes controversial sculptures. Growing up in a small, mountain village in an area known for its highly skilled craftsmen, Constantin Brancusi carved wood figures at an early age and attended the Bucharest School of Fine Arts. Moving to Paris in the early 1900s, he set up his atelier. 

The unprecedented exhibition, taking up the entire fifth floor of Centre Pompidou, is impressively curated with 120 sculptures from private collections and art institutions, in addition to hundreds of other works of the artist, including drawings, photographs, films, tools, archives and furniture. After Brancusi died in 1957, he left the contents of his atelier to France, and it has been a permanent installation at the Pompidou for over three decades in a separate building adjacent to the museum. It has now been moved into the museum and is part of the exhibition. 

Iconic works include "The Kiss," "The Sleeping Muse," "The Wisdom of the Earth," "The Prayer" and Brancusi’s ultimate masterpiece, "The Endless Column." The animal kingdom was a significant part of Brancusi’s works and the last rooms of the show display sculptures of seals, crocodiles and turtles. 

The exhibition is running until July 1, 2024. It's best to buy tickets in advance.

Brancusi sculpture


"Paolo Roversi" at Palais Galliera

It’s only fitting that the official fashion museum of Paris, Palais Galliera would honor an esteemed fashion photographer. Paolo Roversi, born in Ravenna, Italy, started to take photos during his family vacations when he was a teenager in the 1960s. He moved to Paris in 1973 and has never left. 

He created an individual type of portrait photography that emulates Renaissance-style paintings. In the 1980s he began shooting for the top fashion magazines, including Vogue France, Vogue Italia, American Vogue and Vanity Fair. He also created ad campaigns for major fashion brands such as Dior, Comme des Garçons, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent

The exhibition displays 140 photos, covering 50 years, and includes works that have never been seen before, Polaroids, archives of magazines and catalogues. Roversi’s photo studio has also been recreated for the exhibition, giving more insight into his creative process. The dark red walls in the gallery space set the romantic tone of the show, reverting to the era of oil portraiture of earlier centuries. 

It's open until July 14, 2024. 

For more information, visit

Paolo Roversi painting

"The Birth of Department Stores"

"The Birth of Department Stores" is a fascinating and illuminating exhibition exploring the beginnings of Parisian "Les Grands Magasins" (department stores) from 1852 to 1925.

In 1852, entrepreneur Aristide Boucicaut opened the first department store in Paris, Le Bon Marche, on the Rue de Sevres, with many new innovations, including price tags on all merchandise, a reading room for husbands while their wives shopped, toys and entertainment for children, the first mail order catalog and the invention of seasonal sales. Le Bon Marche paved the way for the golden age of department stores including Galeries Lafayette, La Samaritaine and Printemps, which catered to the new French bourgeoisie of the Second Empire.

The start of the show follows the rise of the upper class and new money, the beginning of modern consumerism, the industrial revolution, and the invention of the modern Parisian woman, all which fueled an unprecedented, new retail boom. The exhibition is displayed in various rooms with a specialized focus such as toys, home design and home accessories, decorating services, vintage catalogs, and the first newspaper and magazine advertisements. 

The exhibition is on until October 13, 2024.


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