February 4, 2017
December 16, 2016
December 15, 2016
Designed by architect Victor Laloux, a train station and luxury hotel was inaugurated on July 14th 1900. A creation having more comfortable and luxurious spaces than were found in the traditional stations.. These trains were electrified and did not emit steam and smoke so they were able to enclose the whole space with a glass roof. It had the latest technical innovations of ramps and lifts for luggage and elevators for passengers. Despite it’s modernity the Orsay station was soon obsolete due even more modernization of the train system. In the years up to 1970 it was an empty shell. It was used as a reception center for repatriated prisoners and deportees in 1945, and where General Charles de Gaulle in 1958 announced his return to politics and then in 1960 a film set for Orson Wells. There were many ideas as to what to do with monstrosity of a building even demolition. In 1973 the station and it’s hotel were closed.
In the early 1970’s the idea of turning the station into a museum was expressed and so in 1973 it was put on the Inventory of Historic Monuments. A competition was organized in 1978 to design the new museum. This was a ground breaking project being the first industrial building to accommodate a major museum. The ceiling rosettes in the arched bays were cleaned and restored to their original state and then the placing of air conditioning vents and devices to reduce sound reverberation. After many years of renovations President François Mitterrand inaugurated the museum on the December 1, 1986.
A major focus of the museum was to bring together all of the artworks from a very short, but extremely productive period (1848-1914). Painting, sculpture, decorative arts and photography