Thursday, June 21, 2012

Musee Quai Branley & Musee de la Poste

I hit two new museums these past few weeks! A few days ago, Sarah and I finally got to the Musee Quai Branley, which is a primitive art museum. It was great. I think the sign of good museum is that it makes you interested in something that you didn't previously appareciate. This one had stuff from Africa, the Americas, the Oceanic countries, Morocco, etc. Lots of figured carved out of wood and lots of jewelry!

Ethiopian hand crosses. I think I read that the king of Ethiopia converted around the same time as Constantine. 

Scary St. Michael costume for a traditional festival in Chile.

Oceanic Art. It reminded me of It's A Small World.

I liked this one :)


It was really dark inside, which I liked. Overall it was really enjoyable, and I would recommend it. They were about to have an exhibit on Chinese Food which I was sad hadn't opened yet.

And today I ducked into the Musee de la Poste (the French Postal Service Museum). Yes, it really exists, and I liked it a lot.

 A map of the mail lines in 1738. Apparently the lines didn't reach Bretagne at the time because it was too hostile to deliver mail there. 

Uh oh!! The tides coming in at Mont St. Michel! Stay dry little mail!!


They also had a whole section related to the mail-by-hot air ballon during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 (which I am recently very interested in). Paris was under siege, so the Parisians had to rely on hot hair balloons to get their mail to the rest of France!

Stamps. Originally, the recipient paid the postage fee (possibly a lot depending on how rural an area you lived in). Fees weren't standardized until 1848, and in 1849 they starting sticking labels to things to show how much they would cost to send...thus, the stamp was born! 

How to make postage stamps.

The weird thing about the museum was that in addition to the real photographs and artifacts, there were also a lot of fake things. Like this:

The "Gastropostale" from the 18th Century. 

And this: A "photograph" of the Centrale de Telephone Sprite in 1897, putting Napoleon in contact with Cleopatra after the telegraph was invented. 

Anyway, it was a really good museum and I walked out having learned a lot, so yay!

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