Monday, May 29, 2017

Galerie de Paléontologie et D’Anatomie Comparée




















Have any of you seen the film or read of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec? Well parts of the film take place in this very museum, as since it's inception in 1898 as part of l' Expositions universelles de Paris of 1900 very little has changed. Like a film set, nothing of the modern world seems to intrude upon the space other than the people milling about. Even the visitors seem out of place in this gallery, as the living are outnumbered by the dead ten to one in these rooms.

Like an army, a skeletal Noah's Arcs worth of creatures face the same direction frozen in time. Where else can you see a narwhal skeleton, long unicorn-like horn and all? How about a human rib-cage displayed next to other primates, shocking you right out of your usual museum head space. How else are they to desensitize new visitors to the arguably morbid (and wondrous) gallery without facing them with their very own anatomy first thing. I'd certainly never seen an exploded human skull before, fully articulated and labeled in yellowed and curling turn of the century paper. Placed next to those of our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom, the display asks to to think "how different am I really?"


What an extraordinary place indeed, and now certainly on my list as one of the most fascinating sights in Paris. I know this gallery will have a permanent place on my must visit attractions next time I visit the city. One imagines you could visit twenty times and still find new things you hadn't seen before.

We visited the museum on our fourth day in Paris during a section of the trip which ended up rather naturalist in theme, first visiting the amazing Deyrolle on Tuesday evening, then this anatomy museum Wednesday morning, and then the museum of hunting after lunch the same day. As someone fascinated with early adventure stories, certain fictional archaeologists, and the unmatched beauty of the flora and fauna of our world, I was in heaven. If only more galleries like this one had been left in their antique untouched state, like time capsules to emerging understanding. It reminded me of course of the Natural History Museum in London, where the geology room looks similar with identical wood and glass cases lining the gallery, but in London the labels have still been updated, in Paris they are just as aged as the rest of the gallery. Such a treat for a history lover to step back in time!

I wore my recently made linen and rayon blend skirt and matching bolero with my favorite safari style vintage rayon blouse. A cobra topped brass brooch and other gold and turquoise jewelry added the fainest touch of Egyptomania and a newly acquired set of brown leather clutch handbag and belt finished off the outfit for a day of museum discoveries.

I hope you all had a lovely long weekend! I have been a bit less productive as of late myself, so I need to get back to it!

Skirt & Bolero: Made by me
Blouse: Thrifted
Shoes & Fishnets: Amazon
Jewelry, Belt, & Clutch: Vintage (Etsy)

12 comments:

  1. This museum makes a large cameo appearance in the 1960s French film 'La Jetee,' as well. Have you ever seen it?
    Your outfit is wonderfully suited to its environment, and your photos look lovely!

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    1. Thank you! I haven't seen it so I'll have to look into it!

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  2. It looks like a fascinating place and reminds me a little of the Pitt Rivers museum not too far from me. It's an extraordinary place focusing on archaeology and anthropology from the 1800s and it's full of weird and wonderful pieces picked up by General Pitt Rivers on his world travels. It's in Oxford, UK if you ever visit this part of the country. xx

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    1. I will have to add it to my list of places to visit next time I'm in the UK! (Goodness do I hope that's soon, Paris is gorgeous, but the UK is my happy place). I know I definitely want to visit Oxford for a few days next time I'm over there as it seems like there is so much to see there!

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  3. You so look the part here Bianca! What a fascinating looking place, I'm sure it's worth spending a good hour or two. x

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  4. I love Adele Blanc Sec! Great film, it must have been so much fun to visit this place. I mean, even if you haven't seen the film I'm sure it would be wonderful, but it's always nice to have a frame of reference.
    That brooch is fantastic! This looks like a great outfit just to wear out and about - not over the top, but very chic.

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    1. Thank you Jessica! Me too, the mummies in that film are so elegant and awesome while still being quite creepy!

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  5. I've never even heard of that museum. What a great collection of skellies.

    Too much of the Natural History Museum in London is animatronics for my liking.

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    1. It was amazing! I liked the Natural History Museum in London, though they have the modern bits (which were a bit theme park-ish I agree) they also have such great old specimens like the dodos! I like the old fashioned mineral hall there too. I am just biased towards London because that city holds my heart, it has been way too long since I visited. I don't want to visit though, I want to move... ;)

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  6. What a fabulous place. It looks ever so interesting. Your outfit is spot on for such a visit.

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