The new, intimate Giacometti museum in Paris – A first look

Alberto Giacometti museum, Montparnasse, Paris, reconstructed atelier
Reconstructed studio of Alberto Giacometti on 23m2 including more than 70 original artworks at Institut Giacometti, Paris

About

In the bustling heart of Paris, amidst its iconic boulevards and timeless architecture, lies a sanctuary dedicated to one of the most profound artistic minds of the 20th century: Alberto Giacometti. The Institut Giacometti, a beacon for art enthusiasts and historians alike, stands as a living testament to the indelible mark this Swiss sculptor and painter left on the world of modern art.

Established with the primary aim of preserving and promoting Giacometti’s unparalleled contributions to art, the institute is more than just a museum. It is a journey into the very soul of the artist. Every corner of the Institut Giacometti whispers tales of his artistic journey, from the early beginnings to the zenith of his career.

While Giacometti is globally renowned for his distinctively elongated bronze sculptures, which seem to stretch infinitely towards the skies, his oeuvre was not limited to this alone. The institute proudly showcases a vast collection of his paintings, drawings, and sketches, many of which remain lesser-known to the general public but are equally mesmerizing.

The setting of the Institut Giacometti is as captivating as the artworks it houses. Located in a meticulously restored 1920s studio in the Montparnasse district, the space is designed to mirror the ambiance of Giacometti’s original atelier. The choice of this particular location is no accident. Montparnasse, during the early to mid-20th century, was the epicenter of artistic and intellectual life in Paris.

It was here that Giacometti, along with contemporaries like Picasso, Modigliani, and Brâncuși, found inspiration and camaraderie. Walking through the institute, one can almost feel the echoes of the past, the fervent discussions on art and philosophy, and the spirit of relentless experimentation that defined that era.

One of the most enchanting aspects of the Institut Giacometti is its commitment to authenticity. Rather than presenting a sanitized or commercialized version of the artist’s life, the institute offers an unfiltered glimpse into his world. Visitors can explore the recreation of his cluttered studio, complete with unfinished sculptures, splattered paint, and the very tools he used. This immersive experience provides a rare opportunity to understand the artist’s creative process, his moments of epiphany, frustration, and relentless dedication.

Beyond its role as a showcase for Giacometti’s works, the institute plays a pivotal role in furthering research and education related to his life and art. It boasts an extensive archive, including personal letters, photographs, and manuscripts, making it a treasure trove for researchers. Regular workshops, lectures, and discussions ensure that the dialogue around Giacometti’s contributions remains vibrant and evolving.

In today’s age, where art often risks becoming commodified or diluted, the Institut Giacometti stands as a reminder of the pure, unadulterated passion that drives true artistic genius. It is not just a place to admire beautiful sculptures or paintings; it is a place to reflect, to be inspired, and to connect with the essence of human creativity.

The villa that houses the Institut Giacometti in Paris is a testament to the harmonious blend of architectural elegance and artistic innovation. While not strictly an Art Nouveau structure, the villa’s design is imbued with the spirit of the era, showcasing the movement’s penchant for organic motifs and fluid lines. Within its walls, the sinuous curves and nature-inspired aesthetics of Art Nouveau find a subtle echo, creating a fitting backdrop for the masterpieces of Giacometti.

The villa’s grandeur, combined with hints of the era’s characteristic design elements, makes the Institut Giacometti not just a repository of art, but a work of art in itself. The space beautifully encapsulates the essence of a time when art and architecture were inextricably intertwined, celebrating beauty in every form.

The new space is located in the former artists’ district of Montparnasse, just a few blocks from the original Parisian studio, where Giacometti worked from 1926 until he died in 1966.

Some of the artworks are very fragile and have never been shown in public. This project is initiated by the Fondation Giacometti, which owns the largest Giacometti collection worldwide.

The Institut Giacometti is not merely a destination; it’s an experience. For anyone seeking to understand the depth and breadth of Alberto Giacometti’s genius, a visit to this Parisian gem is not just recommended; it’s essential. Through its walls, the spirit of Giacometti lives on, continuing to inspire, challenge, and captivate all who step through its doors.

Video: Giacometti Institute opens in Paris

Giacometti Institute opens in Paris

2 min 21 sec

Location

Address Giacometti Institute, 5 Rue Victor Schoelcher, 75014 Paris
Hours The Institute is open by an online reservation system
Visit Métro ligne 4 et 6 : Raspail ou Denfert-Rochereau; RER B : Denfert-Rochereau; Bus ligne : 38, 68, 88, ou 91

Photos

Alberto Giacometti museum, Montparnasse, Paris, outside
Exterior of the Art Nouveau villa which hosts the Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Femmes de Venise
Alberto Giacometti – Femmes de Venise, 1956, Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Portrait of Jean Genet, 1954-1955, Oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm
Alberto Giacometti – Portrait of Jean Genet, 1954-1955, Oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm, Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - interior
Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - interior
Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - sculpture
Alberto Giacometti – Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris, Art Noveau Villa
Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - installation view
Installation view, Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - drawing 1
Drawing by Alberto Giacometti, Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - drawing 2
Drawing by Alberto Giacometti, Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - letter
Alberto Giacometti – Letter, Institut Giacometti, Paris
Alberto Giacometti - Institut Giacometti, Paris - sculpture 1
Sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, Institut Giacometti, Paris

All images: Public Delivery unless otherwise noted.

More by Alberto Giacometti

Explore nearby (Montparnasse, Paris, France)

Citation

Comments are closed.

Stay in touch

We would love to keep the conversation going.

Please join us on Instagram, Telegram or YouTube.

Want inspiration in your inbox?