When you think Louis Vuitton, what do you think? Classic. Grandeur. Timeless. Above and beyond. Well as much as these adjectives define a Louis Vuitton purse they also encapsulate the Louis Vuitton Foundation, a center that serves to promote and support culture and whose modern building is just as much a piece of art as are the works inside. The name, however, is misleading. Up until yesterday, I had thought the Louis Vuitton Foundation was the headquarters of the Louis Vuitton company that offered tours giving a behind-the-scenes look to visitors. I was completely wrong, but can you blame me for assuming such? In reality, the building takes its name from its benefactor, but has nothing to do with the actual Louis Vuitton fashion company.
Situated on the edge of Bois de Boulogne, FLV (Fondation Louis Vuitton) opened its doors this past October. The melange of glass and steel designed by Frank Gehry houses exhibitions and galleries featuring modern artists from the beginning of the 20th century to present day. My favorite exhibit was “Keys to a passion,” divided into four sequences: Subjective Expressionism, Contemplative, Popist, and Music. Seeing works of art that I studied in school is, I can only imagine, as breathtaking for me as someone meeting their favorite actor or musician. So you can see how excited I was to stand in front of the great works of Giacometti, Munch, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, and more. In addition to the exhibits, the rooftop view of Paris is itself a work of art. Later, after exploring the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a walk through Bois de Boulogne, where there are many cafés, restaurants, and even a mini children’s amusement park, is a must.
If you have more than a few short days in Paris, venture out to this western edge of the city; it’ll be worth the distance.