And then you find out you don’t.
I’ve lived in Montmartre since 1970 - with a short interlude - and I know it well. I’ve visited the Musée de Montmartre many, many times. But it was a nice afternoon, with nothing else to do, so I decided to walk over (well, up and over and back down; it’s a steep hill) to see the current temporary exhibit: Artists in Montmartre: from Steinlen to Satie. And to discover Suzanne Valadon’s artist studio.
(Anecdote: Rosimonde died in the wings of the theater after starring in Le Malade Imaginaire, just as Molière had before him. The name of that play means “the hypochondriac”, which is ironic to the utmost. The year was 1686. It’s an old house.)
All that has changed. You still buy your tickets at the same place, but it’s bigger and sells books and cards and magnets, as do all Paris museums. And now you enter the museum from the garden level, around the back of the house.
As the nearby Place du Tertre becomes increasingly handed over to the cafés, squeezing out the artists who once took up the entire square, it’s important that the Butte’s history as a place where artists lived and created be preserved. The Musée de Montmartre has truly done that.
Les Impressionistes à Montmartre,
de Steinlen à Satie (1870-1910)
Musée de Montmartre
12 rue Cortot; 18è
Until Sept 25, 2016 (Valloton studio all year)
Daily 10-7 / Sat & Mon open until 9
9.50 & 5;50-7.50 € (free under 10 years of age)