Paris Art Deco Tours

 

 

Named for the 1925 Paris Exposition de les Arts Décoratifs representations in art and architecture are abundant in the City of Light.
 
MATIGNON/MONTAIGNE: Lots of Art Deco buildings in this fashionable part of  Paris and in the street of fashion. Two Art Deco restaurants. A famous hotel where Mata Hari was arrested and Marlene Dietrich and Jean Gabin had an affair; Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra among its guests. A famous theatre where the Ballets Russes and Stravinsky created a scandal, as did Josephine Baker with her erotic dances. Also sculpture of Isadora Duncan. The liitle-known Lalique house, the not-the-Princess Diana memorial. The brasserie where Picasso forced his old lover Dora Maar to meet his new lover Françoise Gilot (later the wife of Jonas Salk.)

 The American Cathedral with Cole Porter's piano. Two Art Deco hotels, one in which stayed Sir Winston Churchill, Gina Lollobrigida and Elvis Presley.  Pershing Hall with sculptures of American soldiers and pilots. An immense and little known Art Deco church with jewel-like stained glass. A museum with Matisse and Dufy frescoes and a section with outstanding Art Deco art and furniture.
 
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TROCADERO/PASSY:  Notable buildings for the 1937 Paris Universal Exhibition with Art Deco sculptures and monuments in the square by foremost sculptors. An Art Deco pavilion to Passy cemetery with Art Deco tombs of Ruhlmann, the leading furniture designer of the 1920s and the aviator who made the first Paris-New York flight. Statue of Benjamin Franklin. The proto-Deco building by Auguste Perret, the first truly modern building in Paris. Then more buildings with vivid ceramic decoration. Then a spell of major Art Nouveau buildings by Guimard, including one used for a film about Colette starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Later more by Guimard before, with his rich Jewish wife, they fled to New York in 1938. Le Corbusier's notable Villa. A Post-Office building with colourful ceramic decoration. A street of 1920s buildings by the well-off architect Mallet-Stevens as a successful speculation, notably the house built for the Martel twins, arguably the best of the Art Deco sculptors.

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BOULOGNE-BILLANCOURT: Virtually in Paris, on the métro, so easily reached. Much developed in the 1920s and 30s, a centre for film-making, automobile factories and where many artists made their homes and studios. The tremendous town hall by Tony Garnier, the Post Office and the Delory building prepare us for the museum which has the best collection of Art Deco in France: stunning sculpture, paintings, furniture, tapestries, ceramics, wrought-iron work and architectural models. A little-known Art Deco church with interesting sculpture and stained-glass.

 1-2 persons 350 euros +lunch
3-4 Persons 500 euros + lunch
 
 
 
 

Michael Barker is a restoration architect who has worked in England and France and has been long based in Paris - in an Art Deco apartment. Also an architectural historian specializing in the Art Deco period about which he has written articles and lectured and he contributed an illustrated article for World of Interiors magazine on the museum at Boulogne-Billancourt, the foremost museum in France devoted to the Art Deco period. His book The North of France (published in English and French) was ground-breaking in introducing Art Deco to a wide public.  A member of the Paris Art Deco Society for which he has led tours, he also participated in the World Art Deco Congresses at Rio de Janeiro and at Havana.

An experienced guide - most European and North African cities under his belt, and Cuba included, Michael Barker leads tours to discover Art Deco in Paris, the world's capital of the period, where it all began in 1925.

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