Paris on stage. 1889-1914: A spectacular exhibition at Québec City's Musée de la Civilisation
February 28, 2013
PARIS ON STAGE: 1889–1914
With its unmistakable European je-ne-sais-quoi and vibrant culture, Québec City—North America’s French stronghold—is the perfect choice to host this world-class exhibition on Paris in the Belle Époque. Paris on Stage: 1889–1914 will run at Musée de la civilisation from June 19, 2013, to February 23, 2014. Come and find out how Paris became the European cultural capital of its time, as you discover the iconic people, events, and places that epitomize those remarkable days. A wondrous journey through time and space in an enthralling ambiance and evocative Belle Époque décor. Paris on Stage: 1889–1914 is a Musée de la civilisation production under the artistic direction of Cirque Éloize’s Jeannot Painchaud.
Paris on Stage: 1889–1914 is an immersive exhibition that plunges visitors head first into the bustle, effervescence, and energy of Belle Époque Paris. Staged to conjure up the Paris of our dreams using space, sound, and light, it calls virtually all the senses into play. With the help of an audioguide, visitors become flâneurs, strolling along the great boulevards—and there’s so much to see! They enter the skin of a Belle Époque Parisian, marveling at the newness and creativity and delighted by the many manifestations of popular culture and new leisure opportunities. Along the way, a chanson is heard in a café or from a sidewalk orchestra, while feelings are stirred in Bois de Boulogne or at the view through a peephole. Experience the moving sidewalk from the 1900 Universal Exhibition or the view from the Eiffel Tower’s first level.
Under the Roofs of Paris: Amazing Collections
Paris on Stage: 1889–1914 is also an opportunity to showcase outstanding artistic, technical, and historical pieces from the collections of the great Parisian museums. In all, close to 250 artifacts and works of art testifying to the creative ferment of the period are on display, including paintings by Jean Béraud, Abel Truchet, posters—some extremely rare—by Toulouse-Lautrec and Mucha, sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, items once belonging to the divine Sarah Bernhardt, circus costumes, photographs, period film excerpts, automata, objects illustrating technical advances such as automobiles, velocipedes, and cinematographs, works and objects relating to the Eiffel Tower and its construction, and much more. One star attraction will be Léon Lhermitte’s Les Halles, a monumental 4 m X 6.3 m painting. It has not been removed from the vaults since 1930 and has been restored for the occasion, making the exhibition a kind of world premiere.
Musée de la civilisation has also drawn on its own national collections to illustrate scientific advances of the day, as well as the presence of Québec artists in Paris, including Alfred Laliberté, Charles Huot, and Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté.
In Paris Streets
Paris on Stage: 1889–1914 is built around a street scene evoking the celebrated boulevards of the City of Light. This space is overflowing with information on this golden age. Here and there are partially enclosed spaces, each with its own theme: the Paris Market (Les Halles), circus and carnival, cinema, café-concerts and music halls, parks and gardens, theater, Salons d’artistes, Bourdelle’s art studio, the Alma pavilion, and the world’s fairs. Each of these theme spaces has its own special atmosphere and unique visitor experience.
Beyond the Exhibition
A variety of cultural activities will be presented as a complement to Paris on Stage throughout the year. A fascinating iPod tour for children is also available.
The Museum, in collaboration with Beaux Arts magazine, will also release a book featuring contributions by numerous well-known experts. The work will be distributed nationally and internationally in both French and in English.
Celebrating an Anniversary
Paris on Stage: 1889–1914 is one of the major events to mark the 25th anniversary of Musée de la civilisation, which opened in 1988. The Museum also wishes to pay tribute to the special ties it has always had with France and the great Parisian museums.
Paris on Stage: 1889–1914, an unforgettable voyage, June 19, 2013, to February 23, 2014, at Québec City’s Musée de la civilisation. Alcoa is a partner in all Musée de la civilisation programming.
Serge Poulin, Press Relations
Francine Desbiens, Tourism Promotion