Saturday, 18 June 2011

The power of words at the The museum of Letters and Manuscripts

Having recently limited my visits of museums to ones solely located in the museum pass guide, it was nice to go to a much smaller museum off the beaten path. Brought to my attention by a friend who is always bringing me to new places when she visits me in Paris. The museum of letters and manuscripts is located on the Boulevard Saint Germain and is indeed something I would have never visited by myself as the museum is surprising larger than the modest doorway is is located through.

This museum is not part of the free for under 26s category but I only had to pay a mere €5 to get in. The current temporary exhibition is about the impressionist artists and features many letters from the most famous impressionist to each other. 

As an anglophone it is slightly disappointing but yet understandable that this small museum does not have the explanatory texts translated into English. Most of the letters collected by the museum are by French people who seem to have possibly the worst handwriting ever. This however is compensated by the some of the other sections of the museum which are divided into some interesting categories, such as music - Beethoven,  science - Einstein,  writers - Victor Hugo and political leaders such as JFK. Most interesting for me was seeing some famous writers letters such as Oscar Wilde and Hemingway. Also on show was Thomas Edison sketches showing how the light bulb was invented(most likely drawn during the day). 

This small museum is definitely worth a visit and since it is not one of the mainstream museums there are no queues and you will find yourself in a calm tourist free atmosphere where you can enjoy most of the exhibition spaces alone. There was plenty of bicycle parking available across the road and the area is also quite central and its easy to find lots of nice little restaurants for lunch or dinner after.

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