2015 Must-See Exhibitions in France

  • Jeff Koons at Centre Pompidou - Balloon Dog (Magenta), 1994-2000

    © Jeff Koons

  • "Dolce Vita?..." Orsay Museum in Paris - Vittorio Zecchin, Les mille et une nuits -

    © Musée d’Orsay, dist.RMN - Grand Palais - Patrice Schmidt

  • "Degas, impressionist painter?" - l'Etoile, Edgar Degas

    © Paris, Musée d’Orsay, dist.RMN - Grand Palais - Patrice Schmidt

  • "J'aime les Panoramas" - Gustave Courbet,  Panorama des Alpes, 1876, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Genève

    © Bettina Jacot-Descombes


    Every year, France honours culture and heritage. Museums and monuments all over the country host extraordinary temporary exhibitions featuring artists, works, schools of art, characters, and more.Here are our picks for the 2015 must-see exhibitions in France.




    Centre Pompidou (Beaubourg)

    From November 26, 2014 to April 27, 2015
    Paris Centre Pompidou is hosting a major retrospective of Jeff Koons, the first of its kind in Europe. The exhibition showcases the work of one of the most famous, most controversial artists of the contemporary art scene. 


    Philharmonie de Paris

    From March 2 to May 31, 2015
    The Music museum will show "David Bowie is...", the breakthrough exhibit that is making headlines worldwide. The recently inaugurated Philharmonie de Paris selected this exhibition-event, which retraces the British artist's eventful and unusual life and career.


    Grand Palais

    From April 1 to August 3, 2015, the spotlight will be on renowned designer Jean-Paul Gaultier.
    From April 8 to June 22, 2015, the Grand Palais will present American Icons: Masterworks from the San Francisco MoMA and Fisher Collection, the largest private collection of post-war masterpieces by American artists ever showcased in Europe.


    Château d'Auvers-sur-Oise

    From April 4 to September 20, 2015
    The Château d'Auvers will display The Van Gogh Experience, an exhibition that plunges visitors into the heart of the famous painter's life and work.


    Cité du Cinéma

    From April 4 to September 6, 2015
    The Cite du Cinema will host Harry Potter - the Exhibition. Enter the famous apprentice sorcerer’s magical universe. The exhibition is also a chance to discover the new temple dedicated to the Seventh Art located in Saint-Denis-la-Plaine, just outside of Paris.


    Musée d'Orsay

    From April 14 to September 13, 2015
    The Museum will house Dolce Vita? Italian Decorative Art 1900-1940, from the Liberty to Industrial Design. The show highlights this pivotal, albeit often overlooked, period of Italian art, which was marked by the birth of modern design.


    Musée Picasso Paris

    Summer 2015
    The Paris Picasso Museum, which recently re-opened after five years of extensive renovations, will present Picasso Sculpture, curated in collaboration with the MoMA in New York.


    Regions of France


    Marseille Contemporary Art Museum

    Until April 12, 2015 
    Marseille's MAC Andy Warhol: Times Capsules features dated or titled cardboard boxes in which the pop artist stored objects carefully selected over the course of the last 13 years of his life. This unique exhibition is a truly original insight into Warhol's work and personality. 


    Musee des Impressionnismes (Giverny)

    From March 27 to July 19, 2015
    Degas, an Impressionist Painter? The display focuses on the intricate rapport between the eminent impressionist and painting outdoors —a distinctive feature of the movement— as well as his relationship to other members of the group.


    Centre Pompidou-Metz

    From April 3 to September 14, 2015
    The Leiris & Co. Picasso, Masson, Miró, Giacometti, Lam, Bacon... exhibit will explore the multiple facets of the major 20th-century intellectual, Michel Leiris. The show also illustrates the innovative aspect of his oeuvre. Nearly 350 works will be presented to the public, along with captivating documents that reveal intimate ties to the greatest artists and writers of his time.


    Musee Granet (Aix-en-Provence)

    From July 11 to October 18, 2015
    Following the Grand Palais show in Paris, American Icons: Masterworks from the San Francisco MoMA and the Fisher Collection will take centre stage in Aix-en-Provence.


    Palais des Beaux-Arts (Lille)

    From September 26, 2015 to February 29, 2016
    Joie de vivre
    , the key event of this year’s lille3000, will trace all historical periods and forms of expression to reveal how art has always been central to the representation of happiness.


    MuCEM - Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Marseille)

    From November 4, 2015 to February 29, 2016
    The MuCEM's J'aime les Panoramas exhibit will reflect on the construction of perception and images through panoramic visuals. The show also contemplates the multiple dimensions of landscape appropriation.


    Carrières de Lumières (Baux-de-Provence)

    From March 6, 2015 to January 3, 2016
    Every year, the Carrières de Lumières Museum in Baux-de-Provence puts on a multimedia show devoted to an artist or group of artists. In response to the 500th anniversary of Francis I's reign, their 2015 performance will honour the Renaissance period with Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, Raphael. Giants of the Renaissance.


    Click on “Events” for a complete list of the 2015 exhibitions held in Paris and other regions of France.

Things to see

  • "David Bowie is..." at the Philharmonie de Paris

    © Duffy Archive & The David Bowie Archive

  • "Joie de vivre" at Musée des Beaux-arts de Lille

    © Succession Picasso 2014 - Paris