Paris Art Insider: Le Royal Monceau’s Julie Eugène

Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris

head art concierge Julie Eugène has what some might call a dream job: A morning might involve taking guests on a private tour of the Basquiat show at Louis Vuitton Foundation before the museum opens or arranging a contemporary art tour within walking distance of the hotel at rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré galleries or the Palais de Tokyo. After studying art theory and history and specializing in contemporary art and new media art and photography at University Paris 8, Julie gained a deeper understanding of the art market and established relationships with contemporary artists working at such notable Paris galleries as Patricia Dorfmann, Speerstra and Studio 55. “These galleries shared a common focus on representing urban artists, such as graffiti artist ZEVS, who was invited by Hervé Mikaeloff, the art advisor in charge of the artistic rebirth of Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris and current curator at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, to participate in the ‘Demolition Party’ of the hotel in 2008,” she says. “I assisted ZEVS during this event, which introduced me to the hotel and its new concept centered around contemporary art. Not long after, she became the hotel’s first art concierge.

Here, she shares her picks of galleries and museums she loves, her favorite Paris neighborhood, unusual art experiences in Paris—and much more.

Indagare can help arrange a stay at Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris, along with curated private tours. tours of exhibitions, private visits to artist's ateliers, art galleries or private collections, cultural activities for children, tailor-made cultural tours of Paris, with the help of Julie and her team of art concierges.

What is your favorite museum in Paris and why?

“To be honest, my preferences depend on their current programming, but if I really have to make a choice, I would say the Picasso Museum and the Louis Vuitton Foundation, both for their diverse exhibitions and remarkable architecture. The Picasso Museum, in an elegant Parisian private mansion known as Hötel Salé, showcases the artist’s renowned works in a historical setting, while the Louis Vuitton Foundation boasts stunning contemporary architecture and design by Frank Gehry, adding a unique touch to the museum experience.

Do you have a favorite Paris neighborhood for gallery-going?

“Definitely Le Marais. This neighborhood not only includes some of the most famous art galleries such as Perrotin, Marian Goodman, Nathalie Obadia, Karsten Greve, Almine Rech and Thaddeus Ropac but also features promising and emerging art galleries, including Poggi, Chantal Crousel and Semiose. In recent years, more and more galleries have also opened new spaces in the 8th arrondissement, particularly on Avenue Matignon and rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, all conveniently near Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris—perfect for hotel guests who want to explore the neighborhood.”

Your ideal afternoon in Paris includes…

“Lunch at Loulou, overlooking the Musée des Arts Décoratifs gardens, or brunch on weekends at BigLove Caffé, in the heart of Le Marais. After a tasty meal, I take a leisurely walk, stopping at art galleries and boutiques. Next, I make my way to Little Red Door, on rue Charlot, one of my favorite cocktail bars in Paris, with its little red door reminiscent of a speakeasy bar. Or, as the day winds down, I might treat myself to a falafel sandwich on Rue des Rosiers and sit alongside the Seine, before taking in more views on my way home.”

What is one of the most underrated art experiences in Paris?

“Visiting an art gallery is a unique experience that’s often overlooked. People tend to believe that museum exhibitions will be more interesting, however, art lovers might be surprised to see exhibitions in art galleries that feature masterpieces and are less crowded during weekdays, giving people the opportunity to enjoy a painting by themselves. For me, the most privileged art experience is being alone with an artwork, with your emotions, completely undisturbed.”

What is the most memorable art experience you have ever arranged for a guest?

“A private after-hours visit to a museum. The guest and I had a remarkable opportunity to visit both the exhibition before it opened to the public and the museum’s storage facilities. We were astonished to be in the presence of and observe masterpieces worth billions of dollars. Throughout my career, I curated and arranged many exhibitions, yet this experience left me speechless. The guest was absolutely thrilled to have such a privilege.”

Favorite show right now?

“I am a huge fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and currently there are two exhibitions featuring his work in Paris: Basquiat x Warhol: Painting Four Hands, the current must-see exhibition at Louis Vuitton Foundation, and Basquiat Soundtracks at Philharmonie de Paris, which focuses on music and the urban art scene of the 80’s. Another recommendation is the Frank Horvat exhibition at Jeu de Paume. Horvat is known as one the best fashion photographers and photo reporters of his time. Also worth a visit is the Elliott Erwitt exhibition at Musée Maillol. Erwitt, one of the most important photographers of the 20th century and a member of Magnum Photos since 1954, approached his subjects with a humanist and ironic eye, capturing the beauty and humor of common life.”

Favorite show/exhibition that you’re excited for in the near future?

“For fall and winter 2023, I recommend Mike Kelley at Pinault Collection - Bourse de Commerce (October 13, 2023 February 19); 2024 Mark Rothko at Louis Vuitton Foundation (October 18, 2023 April 2, 2024); Iris van Herpen at Musée des Arts Décoratifs (November 29, 2023, April 28, 2024).

You are a mom with a young child and another arriving soon–what is the best way to introduce children to art in Paris? And do you have a recommendation for teens in Paris?

“In France, many museums offer programming tailored for families and children, such as workshops and specific visits. We are also fortunate to have Le Musée en Herbe, a small museum for young children, where artworks are hung at a lower height so they can really observe them. The Pompidou Center also offers La Galerie des Enfants, with exhibitions and workshops for children aged zero to 10, and Studio 13/16 for teenagers and young adults. L’Atelier des Lumières is also a perfect place to go—it features immersive exhibitions with video projections on the walls, ceiling and floor of the space, creating a playful and captivating way to discover art for both children and parents.”

Do you have a favorite item (or two) in the gallery shop you curate at Le Royal Monceau that you love—and why?

“I fell in love with Hector Saxe backgammon sets in colorful leathers, which represent the essence of French craftsmanship. Recently, we started organizing monthly backgammon tournaments for our hotel guests as well as local residents. Among the bestsellers at La Librairie des Arts are our collection of coffee, tea and breakfast cups designed by Philippe Starck exclusively for Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris. These cups are manufactured in Limoges, France by Raynaud Ercuis, and they’re a perfect memento of the hotel. And last but not least, I am in love with the marble dumbbells by Collective Y. They not only bring an elegant flair to any space, but can also be used as book holders while serving as a gentle reminder to prioritize a workout.”

Indagare can help arrange a stay at Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris, along with curated private tours. tours of exhibitions, private visits to artist's ateliers, art galleries or private collections, cultural activities for children, tailor-made cultural tours of Paris, with the help of Julie and her team of art concierges.

Published onJuly 12, 2023

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