France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Musée Édith Piaf, Paris, France
A small, private museum dedicated to Édith Piaf, for true fans and admirers.





The Musée Édith Piaf is a small, two-room apartment in a building where Édith Piaf lived for a short while when she was 18. Crammed with memorabilia, the museumhonors the life of this famous French singer.

Run by Les Amis d'Édith Piaf, the museum is a labor of love, and visits are by appointment only. Started in 1967 by Bernard Marchois, M Marchois and his volunteer colleagues maintain the museum, schedule appointments, greet visitors, and answer questions.

As you enter, you'll hear the unmistakable voice of Piaf singing softly in the background. The first room, which would have been her living room, contains a couple of her dresses from her concerts, as well as a lifesized standup photo of Piaf so that you can appreciate how tiny she was (1.47 meters, or about 4'8"). The walls are decorated with porcelain plates, part of her collection, as well as a variety of photographs and letters.

The second room, which would have been her bedroom, contains furnishings from her later apartments, as well as many more photographs and hand written letters and other documents. More dresses, from a gala in New York and from other concerts and films, are also displayed. There is an interesting collection of souvenir glasses from her various concerts at the Olympia and other venues.

Piaf, known as "The Little Sparrow," or La Môme Piaf, had a short and tumultuous life. Born in 1915 in the Belleville section of Paris, she sang on the streets and worked her way up as she became famous.

Bernard Marchois has written two biographies of Édith Piaf, and he also advised on the movie, La Vie en Rose, starring Marion Cotillard as Piaf.

Les Amis d'Édith Piaf have a small number of DVDs, videos, books, and stamps available for sale. Admission to the museum is free, but contributions are welcome.

As noted above, it is essential to telephone ahead and make a reservation to visit the Musée Édith Piaf. It is only open on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, from 1:00 PM until 6:00 PM, by appointment. Because of the small size, only a few people can visit at the same time (when I was there, 3 other people joined, and that was plenty).

When you call, M Marchois will give you the specific address of the building, a code for the front entry door, and instructions for calling the apartment on the intercom.

Métro: Ménilmontant

Musée Édith Piaf
+33 (0) 1 43 55 52 72

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Musee Edith Piaf, Paris

Above, Sign outside the apartment building. Translation: Visitors by appointment only.





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