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Chic in Paris: Musée de Nissim de Camondo

by habituallychic

07 . 14 . 13

Seeing as it’s Bastille Day, I thought I should post something French. (Remember, those of you who receive the email subscription are always a day behind.) One of my favorite things that I did on my recent trip to Paris was visit the Musée de Nissim de Camondo. It’s located next to the Parc Monceau in the 8th arrondissement.  My friend Carlos Huber of Arquiste was staying nearby so he met me for a tour of this amazing house museum.

The mansion and collection of 18th-century decorative arts was bequeathed to the state by Moïse de Camondo after his son Nissim was killed in combat on 5 September 1917. He forbid the lending of works and even moving of furniture and objects so it remains a completely preserved interior including upstairs and downstairs, where the servants worked.   

One of the things I love about foreign and specifically French attractions is that you can get close to everything and even walk into some rooms that have no ropes at all. This one in particular is open on Sundays which, as you know, is a rarity in Paris.  As my taxi drove past the huge line outside the Musée d’Orsay, I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at a very quiet Musée Nissim de Camondo.  Other than a handful of other tourists, we had the place to ourselves. If you love architecture and the decorative arts, I highly recommend making a visit on your next trip to Paris.   

Since I took so many photos, I’ve decided to split them up into a few posts.  This first post will highlight the lovely exterior architecture and courtyard facade that was inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. Moïse de Camondo commissioned architect Rene Sergent in 1911 to create a place to house his collection of 18th-century artwork and his family.   It was completed in 1914 and remains to this day, a beautiful tribute to Nissim de Camondo. 

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic.

Comments Closed

  1. Cyndi Murdoch July 14, 2013 | 10:46 pm

    Absolutely beautiful – I can’t wait to see the interior shots.

  2. The Swan July 14, 2013 | 11:25 pm

    For years until the enclosure by John Russell Pope of the Frick Courtquard, there was a beautiful wall of Trelliswork like that of the Musee Camondo overlooking the Motorcourt…a shame it wasn’t preserved, but I suppose the .russell Page garden Trelliswork is in homage. The Musee Camondo is Supreme ala Frick!

  3. Pamela RG July 15, 2013 | 2:35 am

    Wow, I can’t believe I’m seeing this on your Blog. I just read about this in Kati Marton’s Memoir “Paris A Love Story.” She wrote about the family’s story there in her book. I will definitely visit this place when I go to Paris. I can’t wait for your next blog post about it.

  4. C3D July 15, 2013 | 9:22 am

    Absolutely lovely… can’t wait to see the inside!

  5. Beth25 July 15, 2013 | 11:50 am

    This is one of my favorite places in Paris. Read, besides Kati Marton’s wonderful autobiography, The Hare with Amber Eyes. I am so glad you are giving your readers a taste of the delights of the wonderful architecture.
    This is transporting. Thank you.

  6. BRASWELL July 15, 2013 | 4:42 pm

    just finished The Hare with Amber Eyes so interesting + amazing photos.

  7. swedecollection July 16, 2013 | 1:51 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this museum. Was just there two months ago. It made a lasting impression on me I won’t soon forget. The contrast between all the beautiful furnishings billionaires could purchase and the tragedy of their deaths is unforgettable. I’m so glad he didn’t live to see the Nazi invasion of Paris in 1939. I love Louis XVI furnishings so was in hog heaven seeing his purchases. It will be first on my list to revisit when I go back next May. Be sure to purchase the French and English books on this museum at their gift shop. Your post brought back such lovely memories of this home.

  8. Mary July 17, 2013 | 3:00 pm

    Thanks for the memories! recall this museum as a wonderful, quiet respite in Paris. Wasn’t it also used as a setting for the Audrey Hepburn movie “How to Steal a Million”? Or am I dreaming?

    Mary in Pittsburgh