Interactive map shines a spotlight on women's cultural contributions in Paris
Gaetana Aulenti is an Italian architect. She transformed the Gare d’Orsay train station. She turned it into the Musée d’Orsay. That was in the 1980s. The museum is one of Paris’ most popular attractions.
The converted art museum is located at 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur. It is now a stop on a new street map. The map is of cultural hotspots. The map aims to highlight women’s contributions to the capital city. That's according to the French daily Le Monde.
The initiative is interactive. It is dubbed Le Matrimoine Parisien. That means the Parisian Matrimony. It features five kinds of free-access landmarks. These include architectural structures. It includes pictorial works. It includes sculptures. It includes workshops. And it includes places of art and culture.
Seven Master’s students from Paris’ École du Louvre came up with the initiative. It offers an evolving vision of Paris’ overlooked female cultural figures. The ultimate aim is to provide an exhaustive list of locations. These places were “financed, imagined or made by women.” That's according to Culturebox.
The goal is for each entry to include a location. It will include photographs. And it will include a historical background. External links will provide visitors with more information. A click-through of the map shows more than 130 markers. But the cataloguing is still a work in progress.
Most of the spots highlighted on the map were added by the authors behind the campaign. The authors include Blanche Cardoner. Emma Dechorgnat. Sirine Dutot. Martin Louette. Raphaëlle Reynaud. Lou Desance. And Delphine Bourdon. They conceived the project during a class seminar. The seminar was on digital culture tools.
“This [initiative] allows us to combine our interest in the history of art, the main disciplinary field, and our feminist sensibility.” That's what Bourdon told Elodie Falco. She is with French daily Le Figaro. “It is based on the observation that women artists were little mentioned. They are not well-known against their male counterparts.”
The map went live in early January. The authors have opened it up to the public. They are encouraging people to submit new additions. There are few restrictions placed on entries. One restriction is the requirement of free accessibility. Culturebox notes that places cited range from renowned monuments to graffiti. It has places of social housing. And it has student residences. Even the ophthalmology department of a Parisian hospital is included. Some entries date to the 19th or 20th centuries. Others have only emerged in recent years.
The idea is “to be as exhaustive as possible.” That's what Bourdon tells Radio France Internationale. Obscure sites such as the Necker Hospital Infant Surgery Unit stand alongside slightly better-known ones. This includes the studio of artist Dora Maar. She is often only known for being the muse of Pablo Picasso. Another is Louise Bourgeois’ 1996 “Welcoming Hands.” It is an installation in the city’s famed Tuileries Garden.
The team has plans to start making walking tours based on the map. They also want to partner with organizations dedicated to safeguarding women’s rights. This will happen as the initiative grows. Dutot is one of the seven authors. She explains in an interview with Le Figaro, “We want to raise awareness that all space belongs to women as well."