Museum Monday: Rodin Museum

C’mon on kids – let’s go to a museum!

The Rodin Museum, an ideal place to visit when looking into family-friendly Paris attractions…

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Yes, believe it or not, this classical museum was a wonderful stop for the whole McKenzie clan during previous visits to France.

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It’s located in a neighborhood, in a beautiful mansion, that was actually a home, which was lived in and donated for the purpose of being a museum. This allows you to really picture how one lived back when the home was first built.

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The Rodin Museum also features some lovely gardens, which provide a perfect place for kids to skip around and let off some steam, in the midst of what may be a busy, whirlwind vacation.

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Carter McKenzie enjoying the Rodin Museum on a family vacation to Paris.

It’s also not as fussy as a traditional museum, and the featured artwork is really easy to discuss with family and will encourage the kids to expand their cultural horizons and will hopefully work to inspire them to become even greater art appreciators!

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Here’s a bit on the history of the Rodin Museum in the 18th century:

The mansion that now houses the Musée Rodin was built in the Rue de Varenne, Paris, between 1727 and 1737, for the wealthy financier Abraham Peyrenc de Moras (1686-1732). The project, eventually overseen by Jean Aubert, Architect to the King, is a shining example of the rocaille architecture that was fashionable at this time. Constructed on the outer limits of Paris, it was both a town house and a country residence. Abraham Peyrenc de Moras died in 1732, before his new home, notably the interior decoration on the first floor, was completed.

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In 1736, his widow rented out the mansion to the Duchess of Maine. While the new tenant did little to modify the exterior of the building, rather more alterations were made to the interior layout. When the duchess died in 1753, Peyrenc de Moras’s widow sold the estate to Louis-Antoine de Gontaut-Biron (1700-88), the future Marshal Biron. The changes he made mainly involved the grounds, which had been since then one of the most beautiful and best-known gardens in Paris. While respecting the typical layout of a French classical garden and the species planted by the original owner Abraham Peyrenc de Moras, Biron had added new features. He doubled the size of the ornamental garden, had a circular pool dug and made part of the grounds into an English-style garden. Peyrenc de Moras’s kitchen garden survived, but was moved to a different part of the estate. The appearance of the gardens during this period is well known, notably thanks to the descriptions and engravings of them published between 1776 and 1778. Marshal Biron leaved the mansion the name by which it is still known today, the Hôtel Biron.

For an expanded history, please visit this page on the Rodin Museum website.

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For some other tips on making the most of your family-friendly Paris vacation, check out this “Paris for Kids” Travel Guide from the New York Times.

And if you find yourself in Paris soon, or are planning a visit in the future, be sure to add the Rodin Museum to your list of must-see places; and check out their future exhibitions – we promise you won’t be disappointed!

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