Paris Favorites



Editor’s Note: The Dalai Lama might have said it best: “Home is where you feel at home and are treated well.” For the Art Institute’s Gloria Groom, Chairman of European Painting and Drawing, Paris is not only a place where she has curated major exhibitions—as home to fascinating friends, it is a destination of the heart. Captivating as a speaker, charming as a friend, and brilliant as a scholar, Gloria shared her list of Paris haunts with us.


At the Place Vendome with husband, Joe Berton.

During my three years in Paris as a graduate student, I lived in several arrondissements: from the tony 16eme to the very working class 14eme. My favorite residence was a 6-floor walk up at the corner of the rue Birague and Saint Antoine, a tiny street leading into the Place des Vosges in the Marais (4eme), which was where I was living when Art Institute Director, Jim Wood, and curator Rick Brettell visited me and requested my research services, which eventually led to my coming to the Art Institute.  So, my favorites are not necessarily haute culture but those that bring back wonderful memories of la vie en rose in my favorite city.

Since joining the Art Institute, I have returned many times to Paris but always for one or two days.  And my list has expanded to include favorite art galleries, other points of professional interest around the Musée d’Orsay and in the gallery district off the Faubourg Saint Honoré, and even a favorite Starbucks.

Even with these shorter stays, however, I always manage to hit my favorite shoe shop (Arche) and at least one of my favorite museums for 19th century art.


Places to Stay

  • Grand Hôtel Mahler in the Marais (reasonable and great location)

Grand Hôtel Mahler. Photo courtesy of the Grand Hôtel Mahler.

  • Hôtel d’Orsay (down the street from the museum) – my regular due to work

Hôtel d’Orsay. Photo courtesy of

  • Le Meurice (a Sustaining Fellows favorite for a trip I organized)

Le Meurice (exterior). Photo courtesy of


Le Meurice (interior). Photo courtesy of


Places to Eat

  • Chez Georges, 1 rue de Mail (2eme)
  • Tea room at La Duree (rue Royale)
  • Gaspard de la Nuit (in the Marais)

Gaspard de la Nuit. Photo courtesy of Gaspard de la Nuit.

Grand Palais Restaurant. Photo courtesy of MINIPALAIS.


Places to Shop


A successful visit to Arche.

  • Arche (les Halles, Saint Germain, Marais and other locations)
  • Catherine B (consignment) – 3 rue Guisarde, Saint-Germain-des-Pres

Catherine B Paris. Photo by Julie Hidalgo Chedraui c/o Vogue Mexico.

Phillipe Ferrandis earrings. Photo courtesy of Phillipe Ferrandis.


Favorite Markets

Marche rue de Buci. Photo by Dirk Laureyssens c/o Panoramio.

Shoppers at Marché Président Wilson. Photo by Marie Z. Johnston (c/o


Marché Président Wilson. Photo by Megan Carnegie (c/o Time Out).

Favorite Museums

Musée de la vie romantique. Photo courtesy of The Tourist in Paris.

  • Musée d’Orsay, jeudi nocturne

Musée d’Orsay. Photo by Alexander Franke (c/o Paris Attitude).

  • Louvre, Richelieu Wing of Decorative Arts (especially fine on Friday evenings when it is open till 10:00)
  • Musée Carnavalet
  • Musée Victor Hugo

Musée Victor Hugo. Photo courtesy Musée Victor Hugo.


Favorite Galleries

There are so many! Here are a few—I know I will be in trouble by not naming all of them.

  • Galerie J. Kugel (because it’s a mini-museum of high luxe)

Galerie J. Kugel. Photo courtesy of Itinari.

  • Talabardon et Gautier (19th)
  • Eric Coatlem (Old Masters)

Eric Coatalem. Photo courtesy of Galerie Eric Coatalem.

  • Brame et Lorenceau (dating back to the 1820s and historically important for “modern” art of the Barbizon and Impressionist schools)

Brame et Lorenceau. Photo courtesy of La Biennale Paris.


Favorite Promenades

Rue Saint-Honoré. Photo courtesy of Norio Nakayama.

  • Anywhere on the Île Saint-Louis


Favorite Starbucks

  • Rue d’Echelle, across from Musee des arts décoratifs


Favorite Theatre

  • Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, 15 Avenue Montaigne, 8eme (with murals decorations by Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Ker-Xavier Roussel and cupola by Maurice Denis)

Ceiling detail at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Photo by Jacques Lanciault (c/o


Favorite Suburban Museum

  • Musée Maurice Denis (Musée Départemental) – A beautiful car ride or easy RER to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, featuring works by Nabi artists Edouard Vuiillard, Pierre Bonnard Félix Vallotton, Maurice Denis but also a wonderful collection of the School of Pont Aven with works by Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Paul Sérusier among others