Exterior of photo agency Roger-Viollet Galerie 6 rue de Seine Paris
Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

Paris Churches and Art Galleries–New Museums?

Starving for art and culture in Paris? Churches and art galleries are the new museums filling the culture gap left by temporary closings of the best museums in Paris and the world.

Église Saint-Merri as a Gallery

Walking near the Centre Georges Pompidou, I felt an urge to walk into the Eglise (church) Saint-Merri. As I entered, the interior of Saint-Merri mixes scaffolding with temporary art undergoing restoration of its niches and paintings. Aside from the scaffolding, the church has been transformed into an art gallery. One of the two exhibitions is underwater, Caravaggio-style photography by Christy Lee Rogers  and the other, wood and cardboard sculptures by Paul Walker Hamy. Read More description and photographs

Art Galleries are the New Museums

Walking along a small back street, Rue de Thorigny, in the third arrondissement, I realized for the first time that it is filled with contemporary and independent art galleries. As I entered the Topographie de l’art , a large open space of a concrete floor, I admired an old wooden ceiling and viewed the Aérosolthérapie (aerosol paintings) exhibition.


Departing, I turned left onto Rue Debelleyme and viewed the Karsten Greve gallery. Through the window I saw black and white photography. Inside Herbert List’s “Italia” series displayed the German photographer’s images of Italy from 1933 to 1961.

Another lucky photo find one day was the recently re-opened gallery Roger-Viollet photo agency and archives. The current exhibit is “Les voyages d’Hélène”. Using a Rolleifix camera, square format, Hélène Roger-Viollet traveled the world from the 1950s to 1970s to capture the daily life and customs of people in other countries. Ms. Roger-Viollet, who founded the agency bequeathed approximately 6 million negatives to the City of Paris. Photononstop now handles the sales of the photos.

ParisArt’s website provides the latest news on contemporary culture for Paris and France in art, photo, design, dance and books.

Visit  Que Faire à Paris? (What’s happening in Paris?) for the latest gallery news from the Paris Mayor’s office.

Churches are Art Galleries – Saint-Merry Example