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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Paris: Learning through Museums


This past spring, I got the chance to study abroad in Paris, France at The American University of Paris. Each day I had, I became more acquainted with the stunning city of Paris. Being in Paris has been different from Loyola in a multitude of ways, but has allowed me to experience new things.

Every day in Paris, I found myself trying to step out of my comfort zone, have an open mind, and try as many new things as possible. One of my favorite activities was going to museums. A few of my favorites were Museé Pompidou, Museé l’Orangerie, Museé d’Orsay, Rodin Museum, Musée Jacquemart-André, Louvre, and Musée National Picasso. However, if I would pick my favorite it would be Orsay. The building of Orsay was originally a railway station, evident by the golden clock that stands out amidst the beautiful architecture.

Musee d’Orsay’s Clock

The rich history behind Orsay makes it an ideal setting for a museum that spans not only paintings, but includes sculptures, furniture, and photography. Orsay features a wide range famous impressionists featured include Bethe Morisot, Claude Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, and Van Gough. 

Each individual artist has various paintings featured in the impressionist section, allowing museum-goers the experience of a lifetime. A few must-see paintings are the Starry Night over the Rhône, Luncheon on the Grass, Waterlillies, and The Blue Dancers.

Van Gough’s Starry Night over the Rhône

I believe going to these museums has allowed me to focus on one of the characteristics of Ignatian citizenship, a diverse perspective. Going to a multitude of museums has allowed me to explore different styles of art and the historical elements behind these masterpieces. Each time I went to a museum, I learned something new. As a person who loves learning new things and has a passion for history, I loved contemplating art and learning why the artists chose to picture what they did. 

At the Museé l’Orangerie, I got to view Monet’s Waterlily collection. The waterlilies have been a masterpiece frequently talked about, so I found it fascinating to learn that Monet’s waterlilies are a collection of over 250 paintings. I also learned that the paintings were modeled after Monet’s own lily pond in Giverny. It was beautiful to see all the ways one thing could be pictured. As Monet used different elements and colors in each painting, a new story was told. 

Museé l’Orangerie: Monet’s Waterlilly Collection

I enjoyed exploring each museum in Paris, as they all offered a unique experience. One of my goals for going abroad was to explore as much as I can. After my classes, I tried to do at least one thing in Paris- whether it be going to a local café, boulangerie, or museum.

In conclusion, I believe the museums in Paris can be described with the word wonder. The more I stayed in Paris, the more I was amazed at the beautiful architecture and amazing collections of art. Each museum in Paris allowed me to be encapsulated with curiosity and be fascinated with the process of learning.

photos by Hannah Mannering

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Paris: Learning through Museums