The Army Museum, Paris

In June 2012 we did a trip to France visiting the wine area of Saint-Emilion and Bordeaux and then to Paris for a few days.

The Musée de l’Armée (Army Museum) is a national military museum of France located at Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is served by Paris Métro stations Invalides, Varenne, and La Tour-Maubourg. It is a fabulous building to photograph and gave me a chance to try out my Canon tilt-shift 17mm lens.

The Musée de l’Armée was created in 1905 with the merger of the Musée d’Artillerie and the Musée Historique de l’Armée. The museum’s seven main spaces and departments contain collections that span the period from antiquity through the 20th century.

The Musée de l’Armée was created in 1905 with the merger of the Musée d’Artillerie and the Musée Historique de l’Armée. The Musée de l’artillerie (Museum of Artillery – “artillerie” meaning all things related to weapons) was founded in 1795 in the aftermath of the French Revolution, and expanded under Napoleon. It was moved into the Hôtel des Invalides in 1871, immediately following the Franco-Prussian War and the proclamation of the Third Republic. Another institution called the Musée historique de l’Armée (Historical Museum of the Army) was created in 1896 following the Paris World Fair. The two institutions merged in 1905 within the space of the former Musée de l’Artillerie. Today, it holds 500,000 artifacts, including weapons, armour, artillery, uniforms, emblems and paintings, exhibited in an area of 12,000 m². The permanent collections are organised into “historical collections”, representing a chronological tour from ancient times through the end of World War II.

In March 1878, the museum hosted an “ethnographic exhibition”, as it was called, which represented the main “types” of Oceania, America, Asia and Africa. Dummies representing people from the colonies, along with weapons and equipment, were the main attraction. The exhibit, organised by Colonel Le Clerc, attempted to demonstrate theories of unilineal evolution, putting the European man at the apex of human history. Parts of this collection began to be transferred to the Ethnographic Museum of the Trocadéro in 1910 and in 1917; the last colonial rooms were closed just after the 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition. All remnants were transferred after the Second World War.


Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia

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