The MEP, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, is THE place in Paris where to see major photography exhibitions… and more. Indeed it also suggests guided tours or activities for kids, workshop courses and projections and shelters a library where a large quantity of books, periodicals and films can be looked at or viewed.
Where is the MEP located in Paris?
The first good reason for visiting the MEP is its great location in the heart of the Marais in Paris, rue de Fourcy. It is one minute away from the Seine river and from the Church Saint Paul and only five minutes walk from the Place des Vosges. For sure, as a tourist, you will stroll by during your Parisian stay!
The building itself is worth the visit as it is a magnificent Mansion from 18th century with a beautiful front side, large windows and a majestic staircase. The atmosphere inside is really peaceful and favours the contemplation of art works.
When plan a visit to the MEP?
The Maison Européenne de la Photographie is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11am till 8pm. It is busier on weekends than during the week and my tip would be to come on Wednesday after 5pm, as the entrance is free on that day from 5 till 8pm!
what to see in the mep?
The exhibitions change every two months and the MEP is closed for a few days or weeks at each change of program. There is not only one or two exhibitions taking place in the MEP at the same time… but five or six, as there are six different spaces for exhibiting!
Since 9 September and until 31 October six different photography exhibitions can be seen… with a single entry ticket (8€ full rate – 4,50€ reduced): one on the basement, one on the groundfloor, one on the first floor, one on the second floor and two on the third floor! If you wish to see all of them at one time you’d rather plan a 2-hour visit, as most of the current exhibitions are very interesting.
I spent one hour and a half there yesterday and did not have time enough to see the exhibition ‘Jean Pierre Laffont-Turbulent America’ taking place on the basement. It seems to be a very complete exhibition with many photographies and projections, displayed in four different rooms and showing images of the USA from the 60’s till the 90’s. It looks great and for sure I will come back before 31st October as I bought an annual pass (30€ full price-24€ reduced).
Among the five other exhibits my two favourite are:
- John Edward Heaton-Guatemela: 47 beautiful Black & White photographies, mainly portaits and everyday life scenes. Wonderful! I love the touch of humour in the titles of the photographies. And do not miss as well the projection of 150 more pictures, even without titles…
- Alber Elbaz/Lanvin-Manifeste: If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have read the post I wrote in June about the jeanne Lanvin exhibition in the Palais Galliera. Alber Elbaz is the artistic director of Lanvin and the photography exhibition dedicated to him is just amazing! I have very much enjoyed the remarkable scenography of the photographies taken by But Sou Lai and the movie which recounts so well the very special atmosphere of fashion shows… from the inside. This is a beautiful introspective exhibition, not a retrospective.
And if by chance the Café on the groundfloor is open enjoy a drink there before leaving the MEP! More than a museum the Maison Européenne de la Photographie is really THE House for photography lovers in Paris. I hope that you will like it.
Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr
Practical information: website of the MEP