Serge Gainsbourg’s Parisian Home Transforms into an Archival Museum Honoring His Legacy

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Maison Gainsbourg, a new cultural institution dedicated to the late Serge Gainsbourg, has opened its doors on Rue de Verneuil in Paris. Gainsbourg, a renowned singer, songwriter, actor, and provocateur, lived in the house for 22 years until his death in 1991. Now, his daughter Charlotte has preserved the maison exactly as it was, allowing the public to experience the space and gain insight into his work.

Maison Gainsbourg consists of two locations: 5 bis Rue de Verneuil, Gainsbourg’s former home, and 14 Rue de Verneuil, which houses a museum, bookstore-boutique, and Gainsbarre, a café and piano bar. Visitors can choose between two tour options: the combined ‘House & Museum’ tour, which lasts about 1.5 hours, or the ‘Museum only’ tour, which lasts about 1 hour. The museum showcases the artist’s life and career through a permanent exhibition featuring over 450 original objects, as well as temporary exhibitions that explore different aspects of Gainsbourg’s timeline.

The house at 5 bis Rue de Verneuil offers a unique and intimate experience for visitors. Equipped with geo-located headphones, they can explore the various rooms in the house while listening to a soundtrack created by Soundwalk Collective in collaboration with Charlotte Gainsbourg. The soundtrack features unheard audio archives and personal anecdotes shared by Charlotte, providing a glimpse into Gainsbourg’s life.

At 14 Rue de Verneuil, visitors can immerse themselves in the museum, which houses the Maison Gainsbourg collection and presents a comprehensive view of Gainsbourg’s career in eight chronological chapters. The museum also features rare television, photographic, cinematic, and radio archives, allowing visitors to hear Gainsbourg narrate his own journey through voiceovers. Additionally, the basement of the museum hosts small temporary exhibitions that explore specific aspects of Gainsbourg’s life and work.

The Gainsbarre café and piano bar, located within Maison Gainsbourg, pays homage to Gainsbourg’s early years as a pianist in Parisian bars and cabarets. The space replicates the atmosphere of Gainsbourg’s former home and transforms into a cozy piano bar and cocktail bar in the evenings. Adjacent to the café is the bookstore-boutique, which offers a wide range of carefully selected objects that reflect Gainsbourg’s artistic universe, including records, photographs, clothing, and fashion accessories.

Since its opening in September 2023, Maison Gainsbourg expects to welcome nearly 100,000 visitors per year. In addition to on-site tours, the institution also plans to organize digital and off-site programs to further engage with audiences and promote Serge Gainsbourg’s legacy.

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