7th Arrondissement Museums and Galleries
79 Rue de Varenne, 7th
Auguste Rodin donated his complete collection—including the pieces for which he's most famous like The Thinker and The Gates of Hell—to France so long as they promised to transform the very stately Hôtel Biron, which was his workshop from 1908 on, into a museum. There are thousands of his sculptures on-site, in both the museum's halls and scattered throughout the surrounding gardens, along with highlights from his personal art collection (Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, and Camille Claudel, who was his mistress). Schedule a visit for Wednesday night: You can walk the gardens under the light of the moon.
Musée du Quai Branly
37 Quai Branly, 7th
Opened in 2006 in a soaring space designed by Jean Nouvel, this is part museum and part research/education center. You'll see a compendious display of objects and art from African, Oceanic, Asian, and American cultures that truly appeals to all ages. We always make any trip here revolve around lunch in order to take a pitstop at Les Ombres on the 5th floor: It has great views of the Eiffel Tower.
5 Quai Anatole, 7th
Sited in the former Gare d'Orsay, a soaring, glass-ceilinged Beaux-Arts railway station built in the late 19th-century, the permanent collection here spans from neoclassicism to art nouveau. The big draw, though, is the museum's deep collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art, which includes works by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Seurat, and more.
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