The recently opened Librarie Boutique at the Picasso Museum in Paris is a true gem. Few people know about this concept store. The reason is that there is a gift shop inside the museum, which is a more straightforward option. It is nice and we recommend everyone to browse through it after touring the museum. Once you are done there, walk up Rue de Thorigny and make sure to explore the Librarie Boutique. We've got so many reasons why.
Picasso Museum in Paris reopened in 2014 after the long renovation period. The opening was delayed and caused some controversy. But the result was satisfying! The idea behind the restoration was to preserve the magnificent architecture of Hôtel Salé while expanding the exhibition space. The design store opened a year later, in 2015.
The boutique resembles a typical Parisian apartment, with wooden floors, white walls and pendants. This is probably why it feels so warm and cosy there. The boutique has three rooms, each is furnished with wooden and metal bookshelves, tables and even armchairs. We loved the plants too, it gives a really home and cosy feeling to it.
Librarie Boutique was designed to resemble the artist’s studio. It is not a copy of the Picasso’s studio though. Rather, it is a space that is filled with artifacts sharing the life story of the artist.
There are pieces that tell us, in one way or another, about the life of one of the most prominent artists in art history. The selection is diverse: unique ceramics, jewellery, kitchenware, postcards, t-shirts, candles, books and art magazines, and a special corner for children with books and toys.
It is a totally different shopping experience: walking from one room to another you get to notice more design pieces, and make connections to Picasso’s art. Connections both aesthetic and conceptual. For example, we loved the ‘sailor-striped’ ceramics.
Les Pains de Picasso by Robert Doisneau is, probably, one of the most recognizable portraits of the artist. On the photograph Picasso is wearing a sailor shirt. It is not surprising that stripes became some kind of a trademark, a motive that one associates with Picasso and his work. Indeed, think of Picasso’s painting Maya in a Sailor Suit (1938). In the store you will find many sailor-designed items. As well as design pieces inspired by African art, or Spanish culture. Even though not all design pieces in the boutique are directly related to Picasso’s work (unlike books, for example), it is obvious that the concept store is dedicated to the artist and his creative vision.
We loved Picasso-inspired vases and bowl designed by Christian Lacroix! A true work of art, even though very Lacroix-priced… Overall, the selection is affordable and there are plenty of nice gift options. Our favourite section, however, is the one with books and art magazines. This lovely boutique is designed as a library. It is very inviting and quiet, so one can take time to go through the shelves. By the way, the curated book selection is great! It has books on art, graphic design, travel guides, books for kids. Speaking of kids: the boutique has many items for kids including toys, books and gifts options.
We see this boutique as a sort of contemporary continuation of the Picasso Museum. The artist is long gone, but his art is still very much alive. It is alive in interior and industrial design, in publications, toys for kids, and many other pieces that one can find in this beautiful boutique. It is also a nice and quiet space: even if you don't plan to spend money on design items, it is definitely worth a visit.