Aveline Museum in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud … little known but beautiful …

The Aveline Museum must be the most difficult museum to get to in France: certainly, the most difficult to get to in the Paris region known as the Ile de France. I visited this museum for the first time on Thursday, May 17 this year (2018), and believe me, I nearly did not get to […]

Aveline Museum in the Paris suburb of Saint Cloud (cc marilynztomlins)

The Aveline Museum must be the most difficult museum to get to in France: certainly, the most difficult to get to in the Paris region known as the Ile de France.

I visited this museum for the first time on Thursday, May 17 this year (2018), and believe me, I nearly did not get to it because of getting lost when trying to find it.

The museum is though something special, and so worth a visit, so be brave and off you go to the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud.

The suburb Saint-Cloud is west of Paris, 9.6 kms (6 miles) from central Paris.  Saint-Cloud, I can tell you, is one of the most chic and expensive suburbs of Paris. Expensive to live in: for buying and renting accommodation and for keeping your food cupboards, fridge and deep-freeze filled.

I must tell you immediately how to get to Saint-Cloud, but once you are there, you will have to find your own way to the Aveline Museum. I had to ask half a dozen people where the museum was, and even so I got lost walking this way and that until eventually I came to a street sign which pointed the way to the museum.    By then though I was almost on top of the mansion which houses the museum.

The street sign (cc marilynztomlins)

Getting to Saint-Cloud:

You can either take a train, or the Metro or a bus.

The train is from St-Lazare railway station and you need to get the train to Versailles, and the station you would have to head for is Saint-Cloud.

The Metro is Line 10 which runs from Gare d’Austerlitz station west across Paris to the Metro station Boulogne Pont de St-Cloud.

The bus you will have to take is No. 72 and it runs from Paris’s Hotel de Ville (town hall) down Rue de Rivoli and then along the Seine River. It is a long ride as it will take almost an hour, but it is a delightful ride. You will have to go to the end of the line which will be in Parc de Saint-Cloud, the stop being General-LeClerc.

As Saint-Cloud is in the Ile de France (Paris region) it will need the one zone transport ticket which will cost 1.90 euros ($2.24 – £1.67). Of course, to get back to central Paris, you would need a new ticket.

When you get to either the train station, Metro station or bus stop for the Aveline Museum, you will have to ask for directions.  Who do you ask?   Passers-by.  I had taken the No. 72 bus and when I got to the end of the line, I asked the bus driver where the Aveline Museum was and — she did not know; had never heard of it!

The Museum:

The Saint-Cloud town authorities call the mansion that houses the museum, a villa.

Side view of the Aveline Museum (cc MarilynZ Tomlins)

It is the Villa Brunet named after Daniel Brunet (1882-1943), a biologist, the man who had had the mansion (I just cannot call this beautiful place a villa) constructed from 1928 to 1935.   Having bought 10,367 sq.m of land on the corner of Boulevard de la République and rue Gounod, he had the architect Louis Mourot design him his future home in an Art-Deco style.   (A wealthy man, he had collected art and antiques, today to be seen in the mansion. (Brunet had died in a car accident.)

In 1979, his widow had given the mansion to the town, the town authorities first having let it to film makers, then having opened a library in the mansion, and in 1988 it had finally decided to restore the mansion and turn it into a museum.

Today, just walking through the magnificent mansion, makes a trip out to Saint-Cloud worthwhile, but one can also feast one’s eyes on the art objects, paintings and antiques Brunet had collected and which his widow had also given to the town.

The museum also has exhibits which tell the history of this suburb of Paris.

And – the museum houses temporary exhibitions.

The current one is of the paintings of the Dubufe artists: Claude-Marie 1790/1864 (the grandfather), Edouard1819/1883 (the son) and Guillaume 1853/1909 (the grandson).  The three were portrait painters.

The exhibition is known as La Peinture en heritage (1790-1909).

One is not allowed to take photos inside the museum, but I could and did take photos of the splendid house.

The exhibition opened on March 15 and will run through to June 24.

I will end by telling you that there is no entry fee for the museum.  And the staff members are very friendly.   They are well aware of the difficulty in finding the museum once one gets to Saint-Cloud.

Main entrance of the Aveline Museum on Rue Gounod. (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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