History of the Grand Palais

In 1896—faced with a deadline of the 1900 World’s Fair—an architectural competition was held to design what would later stand as the mammoth Grand Palais upon the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Home to traditional, early art salons like the Salon des Artistes Français, Salon d’Automne, and Salon des Indépendants, the multipurpose monument—which even served a stint as a military hospital during WWI—now hosts a diverse program from fine art to fashion, cinema to sport. In recent years it has played home to catwalk shows by Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Issey Miyake; World Fencing Championships and equestrian events; and a record-breaking Monet exhibition with the highest attendance in the world (900,000 visitors), to name a few noteworthy attractions.

Today, the Grand Palais is operated by a new public cultural establishment, the “Réunion des musées nationaux – Grand Palais”, or “Rmn-GP” for short, which was born of a merger between the organization of national museums, including Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou, and the Grand Palais. Explore the historic monument and browse the current exhibition, “DYNAMO: A century of light and motion in art, 1913-2013” on Artsy.