Modern luxury fans, take note! The Fondation Louis Vuitton, a new art museum designed by Frank Gehry and commissioned by luxury conglomerate LVMH, opened its doors Monday, October 27 in the Jardin d’Acclimatation at the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. This spectacular project—over a dozen years in the making—features 11 galleries spread over multiple levels, all with a clear focus on contemporary art, and many including pieces from LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault’s personal collection. The museum also boasts a bookshop, restaurant (“Le Frank“) by Michelin-starred chef Jean-Louis Nomicos, and a 350-seat auditorium.
Designed to resemble a large sea vessel, with its twelve glass sails and water garden setting, the spectacular structure—itself a work of modern art—was crafted to compliment the natural environment in which it is set. Its glass shell, evokes transparency, while an assembly of blocks, known as the “iceberg,” gives it its volume and movement.
The museum’s inauguration will be divided into three phases, each marked by a temporary exhibition that will be showcased alongside the museum’s permanent collection and celebrated with a number of multidisciplinary events, including a concert by the famed pianist Lang Lang and electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. The first phase, which opened Monday, is largely devoted to architecture with the inaugural show highlighting the work of Gehry, who is also the subject of a new show at Paris’ Pompidou Centre. Other featured artists include Gerhard Richter via Thomas Schütte, Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson, and many others. The other phases are pending announcement. Meanwhile,the museum’s permanent collection will be divided into four themes—contemplative, Pop art, Expressionism and music/sound—and housed in “iceberg”-like galleries.
Visitors to Paris should undoubtedly be sure to include time at the Fondation Louis Vuitton on their next trip to the French capital to check out why English newspaper, The Telegraph, calls it the “most exciting and delightful new Parisian building in a generation.”