Jeu de Paume Gallery

Discover the transformations of this gallery on Place de la Concorde, close by the Hôtel Brighton, from a simple sports room to what is now a major visual arts centre.

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The Jeu de Paume is often associated with its photography exhibitions, but is not only a simple photo gallery, and now plays an active role in bringing all forms of contemporary images into public view. 

The history of the Jeu de Paume

The Jeu de Paume was inaugurated almost 150 years ago, and as its name suggests ("palm game"), it was originally a room where this racket sport was played, the last of its kind in Paris. The building was designed in the same spirit as the Orangerie Museum, which was built a few years earlier just next door. It can be seen from the Hôtel Brighton. Due to the success of tennis, the newer and more fashionable racket sport, the palm game building lost its initial purpose and was turned into an art gallery. Ideally located close by the Louvre, the Jeu de Paume was the annexe of the museum and displayed all the Impressionist art works until the Orsay Museum opened. In 2004, the national gallery of the Jeu de Paume became a modern and contemporary art venue bringing together the national photography centre and the French photographic heritage.

An active role in cultural mediation 

Today the artistic perspectives of the gallery are broader and not limited to photography. The Jeu de Paume has become a reference point where 20th and 21st century images are brought into public view. A work of mediation has been carried out in this sense to enable artists to express themselves and to uncover young talents, but also to make works of art more accessible. The Jeu de Paume has set up a website dedicated to artists' work, the virtual space project, designed as an art of communication. Lastly the Jeu de Paume gallery has a real educational ambition, organising a large number of symposia where participants can debate around the theme of the image. Outside the walls of the gallery, there are also encounters with other sections of the public, outside Paris this time, presenting exhibitions in conjunction with the city of Tours. Internationally, the gallery also takes part alongside other institutions in organising cultural events.

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