France: Goodbye, Great Gallery

Goodbye, Great Gallery

As museums go, the Jeu de Paume was small, stuffy, crowded and poorly lit. But for the past 39 years it has been home to hundreds of the world's greatest Impressionist paintings, attracting some 700,000 visitors, especially Americans, a year and becoming one of the most popular tourist sites in France.

Last week the Jeu de Paume closed its doors. It will reopen in 1988 as a special-exhibits gallery. The prized Impressionist works will take up permanent residence this December in the Musee d'Orsay, a converted railroad station. Perhaps fittingly enough, an American was the Jeu de Paume's final visitor. Elaine...

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