I.M. Pei’s Genius Created a New Art Museum in Luxembourg

Years ago I flew into Luxembourg to begin a summer train travel/backpacking trip through Europe. Back then it was possible to get cheap stand-by flights to Luxembourg from New York City. Fresh out of college with a BA in sociology, cheap was the only way to go to Europe. We stayed in Clervaux for the night before heading out to Amsterdam and points beyond. I remember Luxembourg as being lovely and worth a longer stay if we weren’t hell-bent on seeing as many places as our Eurorail Pass would take us in two months.

I’ve just come across a reason to head back there. The Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM) just opened July 2006. The museum designed by architect I.M. Pei is an architectural masterpiece. It’s interesting to read the museum’s website just to learn about the concepts (PDF file) behind the building. I have to warn you. The website feels like a visit into a modern abstract painting. It’s worth the trip, but be prepared for some fishing. I’m starting you off with the links page. The art collection is an eclectic mix of works by modern artists from around the world. You can access this by going to the link “collection.”

An aspect of this museum that appeals to me is “Be the Artist’s Guest” which incorporates artists’ paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs into areas that are not just traditional exhibit spaces. The café, reception areas and auditorium have the artists’ works as a way to engage the viewer. I think the artists whose works are featured in this manner may be part of the changing exhibits, but I’m not sure.