11 Aug 2014

Atelier Brancusi - Sculptor Constantin Brancusi's workshop

Atelier Brancusi is a reconstruction of Constantin Brancusi's studio workshop, and definitely a hidden gem worth visiting. It preserves his sculptures, drawings, tools and furniture in their original arrangement.

His studio originally existed in Montparnasse, at 11 Impasse Ronsin, now part of a hospital complex. When Brancusi passed away, he left his studio to the French government on the condition that the studio and its contents be preserved exactly as he left them. It was first reconstructed at the Palais de Tokyo, however this installation was considered inadequate by many. It was then reconstructed next to the Pompidou, however this replica was eventually closed due to construction and curatorial issues.

The third attempt is what we see now, a small rectangular time capsule designed by Renzo Piano (a famous architect). It replicates the layout, size and lighting of the original studio, with the external walls replaced by glass. A little glass box of greatness.

And so onto the greatness - the sculptures and workshop. What can you expect to see?

••  One side is his display room - completely crowded with his sculptures, including famous works from his Bird in Space series and Infinite Columns series, and many many more.

••  The second side is his workshop - complete with work bench, tools, half complete sculptures, and his bedroom and furniture.

Tips and notes:

••  The building can be found at the northern end of the piazza in front of the Pompidou.

••  Entry is free, but it is only open between 2 and 6 pm in the afternoon. Open everyday except Tue.

And I can't help but close with a quote from the man himself, "Work like a slave; command like a king; create like a god."

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