Industrial design + old church


Meet Marianne. She’s the personification of the Republic of France, and the visual anchor of Paris’s Place de la République. In particular, she represents the dissolution of the monarchy and the installation of the republic. Power to the people (more or less). A female figure representing liberty goes back to the later 1700s, and became a widely used icon with the 1789 storming of the Bastille, a prison and symbol of royal authority in central Paris.

This is not far from the neighborhood of the blown-up nightclub, etc., and it has been and continues to be a place of political statements and demonstrations.

Republique lion

Below Marianne and still above eye level is an oversized lion guarding a ballot-box. More République. Today he had golden tears.

Republique candles plants

And, on the surface at knee level, many candles and living and plastic/fabric flowers and plants. The topics addressed in word and picture range around the world.

AnM attic

We chose the Musée des Arts et Métiers for today’s brain teaser. It is a museum of industrial design including models of large, complex things (steel furnace), and smaller complicated mechanical items (measuring devices). They sent us to the attic to work our way through the galleries and descend…. Loved the open beams there….

AnM 1713 double horizontal sundial

1713 double horizontal sundial.

AnM 1825 clock

1825 clock, close-up of upper section.

Bobbins on loom machine

Bobbins on a mechanical weaving machine.

AnM maquette Statue Liberty

Detailed diorama of the building of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.

Ader avion III by 1897

We descended a final staircase, very fancy, marble, wide, and highly decorated. Above us, curators have installed Clément Ader’s Avion/Éole III (1897), with the form modeled on a bat, with feather-shaped propellors. It crashed on its first attempt at flight, and was restored in the 1980s. It does look rather like a modular bat.

Peugeot in black

Through a hallway of transportation (this is a Peugeot), we headed for the Chapel of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, a part of what once was the second-most important priory in France, and now within the museum complex. Most of the complex was removed during the Revolution.

Church pendulum

The “front” of the church is empty, very interesting, with a pendulum slowly moving, showing the earth’s revolutions.

AnM church glass

The bulk of the church-space has exhibits, which include a small engineering wonder—stairs and glass exhibit-floors extending four stories (or so) up. While I had some trepidation about the height, I was glad to get so close to the stained glass panels.

AnM church exhibit staging

This museum—industrial design from start to finish….

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