In a city that doesn’t seem to have too many issues wearing fur, decked out in my new fur scarf that has a tail and two feet at either end, I hunted down The Musee de la Chase et de la Nature. The Museum of Hunting & Nature.
A warning, this may upset some folk.
In Paris, you can find a museum dedicated to just about anything.
I have visited many museums in Paris; Le Louvre, D’Orsay, Jacquemart-Andre, Congnacq-Jay, Erotisme, Balzac, Picasco, Pompidou, Rodin, Marmottan Monet, Dali, Nissim de Camondo, Victor Hugo, Romanticism, Orangerie and the list goes on. Now it was time to see what The Musee de la Chase et de la Nature had to offer.
This strange and curious museum is well thought out. The journey begins with the history of hunting. Interactive pieces of furniture containing slide out drawers with information, binocular type apparatus, where you can peer through, as if you are the hunter yourself, has a certain buzz about it. The guests mostly French families, enjoying their history.
Rooms and nooks are devoted to certain elements of hunting paraphernalia, ornate decorative pieces, stuffed animals, which are interspersed with quirky pieces that mock.
The French love their dogs and considering dogs were an integral part of hunting, of course there is a room devoted to the dog.
A small plush kennel, inconspicuously sits in the corner, art lines the walls of both pet portraits and dogs on the hunt. Elaborate, engraved gold collars fill a glass cabinet and what appeared to be some seriously doggy S & M equipment but is in fact a collar, to protect the dog’s throat was also on display.
One nook displayed, antique decorative china plates, adorned with hunting scenes, ironically, amongst them, were some sweet paper plates that made me giggle.
The next room, even although, beautifully decorated, antique furniture, cloth wallpaper, an ornate gold encrusted clock, featuring a hunting scene hangs on the wall, I found it quite disturbing.
Void of people, a large bear, standing to one side, a couple of grotesque porcelain figurines of a hunt – I had to ask myself, is this the present you give to the guy who has everything and hunts.
As I turned around something caught my eye.
A fox curled up on an armchair!
The trophy room, packed with ‘trophies’, rows of elaborate rifles and guns, some pearl encrusted, was a sight and yet somehow not as confronting as it may appear.
In a strangely wonderful museum, chairs with antelope horns, trophies of dead animals, plush toys in, what seemed to be, preserved in formaldehyde, giant polar bears, wonderful art and furnishings, all depicting hunting scenes, informative information and contemporary installations made for a very interesting, quirky and different museum experience.
Even although, not everyone’s taste, it is a museum that doesn’t take itself too seriously, allows artists to express their views, either for or against and let me peer inside the doors of what was another Parisian home.