Paris Travel Planner   Atelier des Lumières, Paris, France
Opened in April 2018, this new museum combines art and technology, with great results.

Atelier des Lumieres, Paris
From the Klimt show.



The Atelier des Lumières is not your typical museum, by any means, even though it is full of art.

A technological collaboration brings the works of famous artists to life through light, technology, and sound. Fully utilizing the high ceilings and vast space of a former foundry, the Atelier des Lumières immerses you in art.

Inaugural shows (the Atelier opened in April 2018) focused on the work of Gustave Klimt and Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The presentation also included some short shows. Individual shows run for 6 months or more, and artists change over time. In 2019 the work of Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night, is featured.

As the music starts and the images start appearing, you are surrounded by ever changing views of paintings. One scene dissolves gracefully into the next, and your eye is drawn around the large space.

Atelier des Lumières, Paris
Hundertwasser's colorful works cover walls, ceilings, and floors.

You can choose to stand or sit in one place to watch the images that surround you, or you can move slowly through the space, even up a flight of stairs for a different view. Visitors are asked to remain quiet, so as not to interfere with others' experience. Photography is permitted, but of course no flash.

Atelier des Lumieres, Paris
A view of visitors seeing Van Gogh's Irises unfold all around them, this taken from the stairs.

If you have seen shows like Chartres en Lumières or the show at Les Baux, you have an idea of what this experience is like. Otherwise it is a challenge to describe, as it is so different from other installations you may have seen. Although it includes both sound (beautiful musical passages) and light, don't think of it as a "sound and light show" in the general sense of that phrase. It is so much more.

Atelier des Lumières is one of the hottest things in the Paris art scene right now. Admission is by timed ticket, and you can save yourself time and the hassle of waiting in line by reserving and purchasing your tickets on line. In fact, many shows sell out, particularly on the weekend, so you are well advised to buy in advance.

The visit takes about an hour and the time flies by. Be aware that you will enter a large dark space, which can be a bit disorienting at first. As your eyes adjust, however, you'll quickly become comfortable in the space. Seating is limited so you should wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to stand for most of the show; there are some seats, and it's also possible to sit on the floor in certain parts of the space.

There's a staircase, which offers interesting views, and a balcony. If you can get a seat in the front of the balcony you'll have a great view of the whole scene. I enjoyed walking around some and getting different perspectives on things. Sometimes the same pictures will be on all walls, other times it's a changing show. Always lots to look at!

Métro: Lines 9, 3, or 2
Bus: 46, 56, 61, 69

Open every day from 10:00 - 6:00, and weekend evenings.

Atelier des Lumières
38 rue Saint Maur 
75011 Paris
+33 (0)1 80 98 46 00

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Atelier des Lumieres, Paris

Above, A recognizable figure by Klimt, on display at the Atelier des Lumières, Paris.

Below, An interesting perspective on the work, seen from the staircase. You get a close look at what's right there, as well as a view on the whole space.

Atelier des Lumières, Paris

Atelier des Lumieres, Paris
Above, Up close and personal with Vincent Van Gogh, one of the many self portraits he did.


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