Passion Points: Arts/Culture
Sometimes walking around your own city can be an eye-opening cultural experience, Muriel Quancard-Johnson, the French founder of New York–based Opus Travels knows. Dedicated to exploring the worlds of contemporary art, design and architecture, Opus guides lead small, private groups of art lovers behind the scenes of cutting-edge art neighborhood and art fairs, from Shanghai to Mexico.
The two cities most dear to Quancard-Johnson, who served as the director of the renowned Yvon Lambert Gallery, are New York and Paris. Exclusively for Indagare, she has arranged exploration tours of two neighborhoods whose art histories could not be more different—one has been around for centuries, the other is a recent phenomenon—but both offer a wealth of culture, if one knows where to look.
Opus’ tour of New York City’s Bowery and Lower East Side will include visits to the New Museum, opened in 2007, as well as to several galleries and cool art and design shops. When possible, guides will introduce clients to gallery and shop owners, as well as artist. “The Bowery and Lower East Side are a labyrinth where shops and galleries hide behind unassuming façades,” says Quancard-Johnson. “Going with someone who knows the neighborhood is invaluable.” In Paris, Opus is offering an in-depth look at the Marais, one of the most vibrant quartiers on the right bank. The itinerary in Paris, led by Quancard-Johnson’s French counterpart, Delphine Perru, will include visits to blue chip art galleries, as well as newly opened exhibition spaces. Guests will also see the Maison Européenne de la Photographie or the Musée Carnavalet. Perru, born and raised in the Marais knows the neighborhood inside and out, and will also lead her clients to discover old master paintings hidden in a chapel.
Most important is Opus’ interactive and vibrant approach, which attempts to pull the art, galleries and cityscapes experienced on a tour into context. Says Quancard-Johnson: “We believe that despite its subjective nature, art requires intellectual and perceptive understanding, but we like to share this knowledge and experience by the most pleasurable means. The tours should be educational but also a lot of fun.”
For more information and to book an Opus tour, call Opus at 646-546-8496 or contact Indagare at 212-988-2611.
Read a Q&A with Muriel about her favorite cultural destinations.
Read about the Bowery’s hottest new restaurant: Double Crown.
Read our review of the Bowery Hotel.
Read about a special townhouse hideaway in the Marais.
Art lovers in London: Remember you only have a few more weeks to eat at Flash, the pop-up restaurant at the Royal Academy of Arts.
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