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Opened in June 2018, more than 50 years after Alberto Giacometti’s death, this small museum is dedicated to the work of the creator of one of the most iconic sculptures in the history of art: Walking Man.
It took a long time for the Fondation Giacometti to find the ideal space to exhibit their impressive collection (350 sculptures, 90 paintings, and more than 5,000 drawings, lithographs, and notebooks). They wanted a place true to Giacometti’s spirit, located in the 14th Arrondissement, where he lived for more than 40 years, with an atelier feeling. They refused all of the soulless white cubes and bourgeois Haussmannian apartments they were offered before they finally found the perfect gem.
After a few years of renovation, The Institut Giacometti finally opened its doors Rue Victor Schoelcher, a few steps away from Rue Hippolyte Maindron, where the artist worked all his life long. He must have passed by the building hundreds of times, on his way to La Coupole or Le Sélect, where he was a regular.
The façade is quite unusual—a mix of Art Nouveau and Art Déco, conceived by decorator Paul Follot. As soon as you enter the premises, it’s an aesthetic shock: Giacometti’s reconstructed “cavern-studio” stands in front of you. His wife saved it all—from the wall covered with tormented paintings to his last cigarette butts—and it’s now ours to admire.
The place says so much about the artist. It feels like he could enter the room at any moment, sit on the tiny bed, suffer yet another of his crises of faith in his talent, then get to work on one of the 70 sculptures that crowd the space.
The rest of the building is a succession of alcoves and salons, of which the original décor has been preserved.
Each year, the Fondation presents three to four temporary exhibitions devoted to Giacometti’s art. These exhibitions are often the occasion to discover unexpected aspects of the artist’s oeuvre, as his career spanned several different periods.
Admission is 8.50€ for adults, 5€ for students and children ages 12-18, 3€ for children under 12.