May 2007

The Musee D’Orsay
Orsay Museum in Paris 

The Musee D’Orsay or Orsay Museum in Paris houses probably the most prestigious collection of Impressionist Art in the entire world.  As if that weren’t enough to distinguish itself, the Orsay is located on the banks of the River Seine opposite the Tulierie Gardens in an abandoned train station.  This is quite a pedigree for a form of art that was considered out of touch in its heyday. Now no trip to the city of lights would be complete without paying homage to such masters as Degas, Monet, van Gogh and Gauguin. The museum was dedicated by French President Francois Mitterrand in December of 1986 after having been classified as a national monument in 1978.  

The different collections housed at the Orsay include:

Decorative Arts
Architectural Drawings

The Orsay plays host to many cultural events such as symposiums, cinema, shows, lectures, guided tours, classes, and music. Highlights of the collection include iconic Degas statues and Monet’s Water lilies. The website for the museum is not only very easy to navigate; the images are crisp and simple to locate with the assistance of the handy search feature. If you can’t make to Paris to see the collection in person, this site is the next best thing to being there. You can even purchase from the Orsay bookstore online.

Reviewer: Monika Earle, FIDM Library Staff Member