Imaginary magazine The Parisianer captures the Chronicles of the Natural History Museum in Paris.
People the world over have seen the cover of The New Yorker magazine in America, even if they have never opened a copy to read. The magazine, launched in 1925, focuses on the cultural life of New York, and each week an artist designs the cover poster.
James Joyce, living in Paris at the time of the launch of The New Yorker in 1925, became a regular reader – enjoying the magazine as gifts or on loan from his American literary friends and colleagues.
Now, in Paris, from 20 May to 13 October 2021, an imaginary magazine called The Parisianer has been re-created in the likeness of The New Yorker front page poster designs. Yes, it’s a façade – just the front cover, with no magazine. The posters tell the story, not of the cultural life in Paris, but of the history of the Natural History Museum in Paris.
The artistic project is called “The Parisianer: Chroniques du Muséum” – “The Parisianer: Chronicles of the Museum.” A collective of 150 cosmopolitan artists led the idea, and create the front page poster design for the exhibition.
Each work is “a little gem of poetry and sweetness” says the museum’s promotion of the artistic project.
The Natural History Museum in Paris – known as the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN) – is located in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement of Paris. It was founded on 10 June 1793 during the French Revolution, although the concept and exhibits were around from 1635 in some form. The Natural History Museum is actually an umbrella for 14 different sites throughout France, including the original building in the grounds of the Paris Botanical Garden – Jardin des Plantes.
The exhibition is on the grounds of the Botanical Garden at the Natural History Museum in Paris.
So, with over 200 years of history, The Parisianer posters cover many topics over time – just observe the dates on the cover of the magazine poster!
The exhibition shows the National History Museum in posters, marking specific events in the history of the museum itself. On the grounds of the museum are 21 posters that combine art, history, and science. The exhibition also takes viewers into the future – fantasized or feared futures – where Parisians can go to live on Mars or suffer from global warming – depicted in some posters. The posters show dates from 1717 to 3107.
The works of The Parisianer also revive the historical moments when Voltaire, Buffon, or Paul Rivet were interested in the museum, not to mention the heroic acts of resistance of the Musée de l’Homme (Museum of Mankind) during the Second World War, the first arrival in France of a giraffe at the Paris Zoo in 1827, and the introduction of the blob at the Zoological Park of Paris in 2019.
Each poster tells a story, using details, colours, characters and above all, humour, poetry, and talent.
These posters of The Parisianer will also be exhibited around Paris, at the airport, at Bercy Village, in the town hall, and in selected cities around the world – such as in the French Institute in Ukraine.