Best Exhibitions in Paris, May 2017

Now that the sun is finally out again, we feel like stepping out and rediscovering Paris all over again. The city offers some of the most impressive exhibitions, art events and expos. It is so beautiful outside, it would be a shame to miss a thing… and the month of May is the perfect time to start working your way through the list of must-sees!

We’ve got a new saying for you: April showers bring many hours of art events in May! Ok, that might not have the same ring to it, but let’s sing it, it’s time to unwind, to enjoy the sun and to wander around the Parisian public squares...

Must-see Art Events and Festivals in May 2017:

Nuit des musées au musée PicassoMuseum Night, La Nuit des Musées in Paris and the Region. "La Nuit des Musées", museum night takes place on Saturday 16 May. It’s the perfect occasion to see temporary exhibitions for free and rediscover the permanent collections in Parisian museums, at night!

Play me I’m Yours 2017: Pianos are back in Paris! Play Me, I’m Yours is soon to be back in Paris! From 22 June to 11 July 2017, several pianos will invade public squares for planned and improvised concerts. This 6th edition is new, even more colorful, enthralling, surprising and moving, be ready then!

Le Grand Salon d'Art Abordable 2017Grand Salon d’Art Abordable 2017 at La Bellevilloise. From 12 to 14 May 2017, to buy your very first work of art you should go to this affordable art fair: Grand Salon d’Art Abordable. For three days, 40 artists will be attending the fair at La Bellevilloise to exhibit their works, their project and first and foremost sell their creations at affordable prices: from €50 to €5,000, a unique event far from the vision we have of art galleries.

Vaux-le-Vicomte château presents: Entertainment by Jean de la Fontaine. This year from 29 April to 5 November 2017, Vaux-le-Vicomte château pays homage to the fable teller, Jean de la Fontaine and offers a whole range of family activities focused on Nicolas Fouquet’s dear friend. Games and riddles linked to la Fontaine’s writing will lead you and your family to the discovery of unusual places of the château and some have even been inaccessible to the public until now!

100 chefs-d'œuvre s'invitent sur les Champs-Élysées100 works of Art exhibited on the Champs-Elysées: "Cent"! "Hundred" (English for "Cent") is the name of the next exhibition held on 14 May 2017 on the world’s most beautiful avenue: the Champs-Elysées! About a hundred works of art by famous artists are to be exhibited... We understand much better why the title is so short!

"Grande Fête GoodPlanet" at Domaine de Longchamp. On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 May 2017, Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Foundation, GoodPlanet, organizes a "great party" to celebrate ecology and humanism at Domaine de Longchamp. What is planned? Exhibitions, meetings, activities, performances and concerts.

D'days 2016Let’s Play, D’DAYS 2017 in Paris. The Festival of Design D’Days is back from 2 to 14 May 2017 in Paris. This year and for two weeks, designers, schools and museums will show the best of current design. The event claims its will to play with the public out loud in order to take over the place and escape the reality. Between heritage and modernity, D’Days offer us designing experiences!

Belleville artists’ 2017 open studios. Belleville artists’ famous open studios are back for their  28th edition. 250 artists of all kinds invite the public to discover where the magic happens. From 19 to 22 May 2017, artists give a unique opportunity to discover how they work.

2017’s Most Awaited Exhibitions:

National Geographic s'expose au Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle National Geographic exhibited at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle. From 3 May to 18 September 2017, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle welcomes the legendary "National Geographic" magazine for a great exhibition featuring a hundred photographs. Published for the first time in 1888 thanks to a small group of explorers, "National Geographic" displays picture to celebrate over a century of travels. Wonderful.

The sacred stone of the Maori at Musée du Quai Branly. The "Pierre Sacrée des Maori" exhibition will be held from 23 May to 1 October 2017 at Musée du Quai Branly and highlights the rich collections of jade, New-Zealand museum’s greenstone.

La garde robe de Dalida au Musée GallieraDalida. Paris’ Musée de la Mode, Palais Galliera, displays an exhibition dedicated to a true icon, Dalida, and especially to her glamourous look made famous by her ample bosoms and alluring lower back. To visit from 27 April to 13 August 2017.

The Library at Night - Virtual reality immersion held at the BNF. From 16 May to 12 August 2017, discover the world’s most beautiful libraries without even leaving Paris. The Library of Congress, the Hase-dera Library, the Royal Library of Alexandria, 10 libraries open their doors through a dreamlike journey... and in virtual reality!

MEDUSA, bijoux et tabous au Musée d'Art ModerneMEDUSA, jewels and taboos at Musée d’Art Moderne. MEDUSA, an exhibition held from 18 May to 5 November 2017 at Musée d’Art Moderne, displays over 300 artists’ and jewelers’ jewels but no finery nor sculptures. The fascinating, intriguing and sometimes confusing jewels may make taboos rise up because of the subjects they represent and broach, like the way Medusa attracts us!

Paul-Armand Gette exhibited at Musée d’Art Moderne. From 5 May to 17 September 2017, Paris Musée d’Art Moderne located in the 16th arrondissement, accommodates in its permanent collections about twenty Paul-Armand Gette’s works of art.

Costumes espagnols entre ombre et lumière, l'expo à la Maison Victor HugoSpanish costumes at Maison Victor Hugo. Maison Victor Hugo exhibits from 21 May to 24 September 2017 wonderful traditional Spanish costumes coming from the Museo del Traje’s collection, the Madrid-based costume and ethnological heritage museum.

"Grand Trouble" the exhibition held at the Halle Saint-Pierre. From 9 May to 30 July 2017, the Halle Saint-Pierre hosts an exhibition about forty artists called "Grand Trouble". This collective project gathers together many materials (drawings, paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations, videos) and offers a whole range of daily images linked to tenderness and friendship.

Pierre Le Grand, un Tsar au Château de VersaillesPierre Le Grand, a Tsar at the Palace of Versailles. The Palace of Versailles’ exhibition about Peter the Great, a Tsar in France, returns on an international event: the Russian tsar’s stay in 1717 in France. For two months, Peter I shook protocols up: he refused to stay in the royal apartments and embraced the young king. But he made good use of his two years spent in France once he came back to St-Petersburg. Three hundred years later and from 30 May to 24 September 2017, his trip is displayed at the Palace of Versailles.

Bernard Lassus at the Centre Pompidou. From 24 May to 28 August 2017, the Centre Pompidou offers a lovely exhibition about the visual and landscape artist, Bernard Lassus. Set into two parts, this exhibition takes place in the room dedicated to the museum’s permanent collection on the 5th floor, and on the 800-square meter southern terrace showing an artificial garden.

The Exhibitions Everyone's Been Talking About:

DC Comics, l’expo événement au Musée Art Ludique
DC Comics, the exhibition held at the Musée Art Ludique. From 31 March to 10 September 2017, the Musée Art Ludique is displaying the DC Comics exhibition "The Dawn of Superheroes". Working with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros, the Parisian museum gathers together over 250 original plates and 300 cinema research drafts. A great DC-Superheroes family portrait is waiting for you!

Jamaica Jamaica! At Philharmonie de Paris. From 4 April to 13 August 2017, discover the whole universe of Jamaican music through a wonderful exhibition at Philharmonie de Paris.

A pied d’oeuvres à la Monnaie de ParisFloor-naments, Monnaie de Paris celebrates the Centre Pompidou’s 40th anniversary. From 31 March to 9 July 2017, the Centre Pompidou settles in Monnaie de Paris! Musée national d’Art Moderne’s project, Floor-naments, settled in Monnaie de Paris, makes us wonder about sculpture’s verticality. From Marcel Duchamp’s horizontal coat-rack (1917) to Pipilotto Rist’s videos played on the floor, without forgetting Klein’s, Giacometti’s and Man Ray’s major works, the exhibition features about twenty works of art which made the Centre Pompidou’s story.

Art/Africa, the Fondation Vuitton’s three exhibitions. From mid-April to 28 August 2017, the Fondation Louis Vuitton accommodates three small exhibitions dedicated to South African and Sub-Saharan African artistic creation. We can discover a huge choice of the African’s artist, Jean Pigozzi’s (1989-2009) works focusing on South African contemporary scene and an overview of the Fondation Vuitton’s African collection.

AUTOPORTRAIT le nouveau livre du photographe Bernard Descamps - UNE SIGNATURE, DES ÉVÉNEMENTS !Auto Photo, an exhibition at the Fondation Cartier. From 19 April to October 2017, the Fondation Cartier accommodates a great exhibition focused on auto-themed photographs. Many documents show that Jacques-Henri Lartigue is deeply fascinated by the car’s speed, Andrew Bush considers it as a witness of modern times and Malick Sidibé sees it as a subject to brag about. As a bonus, you will be able to attend legendary movie clips.

"Du Roi-Soleil à Marianne, Sièges en société" at the Galerie des Gobelins. Come and discover 300 wonderful seats from the 18th century to nowadays, from 25 April to 24 September 2017 at the Galerie des Gobelins. These social seats recount two hundred years of the French art of seats and give pride of place to a French know-how future generations have the duty to perpetrate...

Walker Evans, l'exposition au Centre PompidouWalker Evans at The Centre Pompidou. From 26 April to 14 August 2017, the Centre Pompidou presents a great exhibition focused on the American photographer Walker Evans (1903-1975). For this very first French retrospective, the museum puts on a great spread and begins a wide thought about the artist’s work.

21 rue de la Boétie, Paul Rosenberg at the Musée Maillol. From 2 March to 23 July, the Musée Maillol recreates Paul Rosenberg’s legendary gallery located at 21 rue de la Boétie. This wonderful exhibition reunites the greatest artists the Parisian art dealer represented: Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Braque, Henri Matisse, Marie Laurencin who later became his friends.

La collection Alicia Koplowitz au Musée Jacquemart-AndréAlicia Koplowitz Collection at the Musée Jacquemart-André. From 3 March to 10 July 2017, Alicia Koplowitz’s collection is displayed at the Musée Jacquemart-André. For the first time in France, an exhibition pays tribute to the Spanish female collector’s sensibility who amassed for over thirty years many works of art with a preference for female portraits, antique sculptures, Van Gogh’s, Barcélo’s or Modigliani’s painting!

Balenciaga at the Musée Bourdelle. From 8 March to 16 July 2017, the Musée Bourdelle dedicates an exhibition to Balenciaga. The Spanish couturier’s black-toned work clashes with the sculptor’s plaster work throughout an exhibition focused on black, light and colors!

Depending on the weather, we are sure you will be out and about, so do not hesitate to have a look at the capital’s public parks and gardens (in French)!

Elodie D.
Last updated on 26 April 2017

Practical information

Need to communicate on Sortir À Paris?
↪ Discover our professional offers on

Be the first to comment!

Refine your search
Refine your search
Refine your search
Refine your search