The museum houses France's national collection from the impressionist, postimpressionist and art nouveau movements spanning from 1848 to 1914. Located in the glorious former Gare d’Orsay train station, a roll-call of masters and their world-famous works are on display. The painting collection centres on the world’s largest collection of impressionist and postimpressionist art, and it includes masterpieces by Manet, Monet, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro and Van Gogh. There are also some magnificent decorative arts, graphic arts and sculptures.
The expansion follows a €20m ($22.64m) donation from an American Friends of Musée d’Orsay philanthropist. The project, known as “Orsay Wide Open,” will be completed in two phases by 2026 under the museum’s architectural and museography department director, Agathe Boucleinville. The building will be rededicated entirely to public space and will see administrative offices on the fourth floor being converted into a new wing of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist galleries.
A record 3.6m people visited the museum in 2019 and its collection has grown, so the development will help to accommodate this expansion. The new education and research centres will use digital technology to teach children, families and school groups about art, and there will be food and beverage sections, retail areas and spaces for relaxation and reflection.
“Orsay Wide Open will allow us to achieve a core objective of the museum: to offer visitors a comfortable experience in spacious galleries and with educational resources that enrich their understanding of our collection and the history of art and culture,” says museum president, Laurence des Cars.
For further information on Musée d'Orsay, please see its website here.