The Paris Muse experience has been enthusiastically described by a host of different writers. Read some of their insights into what makes us so special.
Karen Burshtein, “7 Unusual ways to See Paris,” Vogue Magazine, November 18, 2016.
“This tour is designed to get teens keyed up on French history—not always an easy feat. “The French Revolution: A Murder Mystery Tour” is one of Paris Muse’s newest offerings…Families are taken back to 18th-century Paris to solve the mystery of a dramatic, real-life political assassination. The program was created by the company’s historians and combines interactive intrigue with learning.”
Shivani Vora, In Transit, The New York Times, October 14, 2016.
“With the interactive French Revolution: A Murder Mystery Tour from the tour company Paris Muse, visitors take a trip to 18th-century Paris and crack the case of a real-life political assassination.”
Shivani Vora, In Transit, The New York Times, December 2, 2015.
“Paris Muse, the Paris-based company offering educational walks in Paris, is branching out of the city this summer with a getaway in the south of France.”
Shivani Vora, In Transit, The New York Times, August 8, 2015.
“Paris Muse offers a two-hour Discovery Walk for Families in the Marais neighborhood, where children use compasses to trace the footsteps of Victor Hugo to monuments featured in his novels and engage in games like finding masons’ marks on a medieval rampart in St.-Paul.”
Shivani Vora, Thursday’s Travel News and Tips, The New York Times, June 18, 2015.
“A new tour from Paris Muse, a company specializing in historical excursions around Paris, is meant to get kids excited about visiting the Louvre: A Nile Family Voyage at the Louvre, intended for those from ages 6 to 12, is a two-hour journey through the Egyptian collections and begins with a private guide presenting children with a notebook that has a map and stickers of symbols inspired by works of art they will see.”
Peter Stewart, Ready To Go, “The Louvre Made Simple,” France Magazine, August 2016.
“With some 35,000 artworks on display in 300
rooms, the Louvre in Paris is a vast museum that can leave many visitors – desperate to see as much as they can – feeling overwhelmed. One way to make a visit both more enlightening and relaxing is to put yourself in the hands of an expert on a guided tour, such as the ones organised by Paris Muse.”
Ashely Chalmers, “An Afternoon at the Museum: Touring Muséed’Orsay with Paris Muse” the lazy travelers, June 2016.
“Along with being an art student and history buff, our guide was also well-prepared for showing us around with a pram…Alexandra was up to the task of showing us the nitty gritty of some of Orsay’s most famous and interesting pieces. Rather than taking us work by work, she breezed through the galleries at a pace that was comfortable…and, she did the perfect job of selecting pieces that built a visual survey of the school.”
Sharon Rigney, “How To Successfully Tour A Museum With Kids,” trekaroo.com, June 23, 2015.
“When my family visited Paris, I knew I wasn’t leaving without visiting the Louvre. I also wanted my kids to experience it, but was not sure how best to approach it. We had done a tour at another large tourist site earlier that year that was geared more towards adults and my kids hated it. I didn’t blame them, but I also didn’t know how to make a museum fun. So I did some research, and decided to leave it to the experts. I signed us up for Paris Muse’s Louvre Quest Tour…”
Eric Støen, “5 Steps to the Best Family Vacation You’ll Ever Have,” wendyperrin.com, June 2, 2015.
“No matter where you’re going, there’s likely a company that offers walking tours through certain neighborhoods or museums. Select one that’s geared toward the kids. Good walking tours are interactive and highly educational, without the kids even realizing how much they’re learning. And given that we parents have forgotten most of the history that we learned in school, they’re great for us too!…An added benefit: By arranging museum tours in advance, you can generally skip the lines. With our guide from Paris Muse we walked right past an hour-long queue at the Louvre.”
Click here for a complete list of our appearances. See below for highlights:
Women Artists in Paris Museums: Paris Muse educator, and Fulbright Scholar, Lauren Jimerson discusses the dearth of art by women in museums and tells us where to find the best of it Paris. Featured on France 24 in December 2016.
Paris and the French Revolution: Paris Muse educator Vanessa Lambert, co-creator of our “French Revolution: A Murder Mystery Tour” discusses what the city was like during this pivotal moment in history. Featured on France 24 in July 2016.
The Race to Save Louvre Art During WWII: Paris Muse Director Inge Laino tells the fascinating story of what happened to the Louvre’s art treasures during WWII. Featured on France 24 in October 2015.
Eric Støen, “Tips for a Perfect Family Vacation in Paris That Won’t Bore Your Kids or You,” Yahoo Travel, December 4, 2014.
“One of the highlights of our summer trip was a private tour of the Louvre with Paris Muse. Not only did we avoid most of the lines and crowds, but the kids had a great time completing word puzzles and being led on a treasure hunt that included a wide spectrum of Babylonian, Greek, French Medieval, and Italian Renaissance art and antiquities.”
Eric Støen, “Ten Incredibly Cool Kid-Friendly Activities Around the World,” Travel Babbo, December 2016.
“Our favorite treasure hunt anywhere was through the Louvre with Paris Muse…It was extremely well-designed and exactly what families need to see one of the world’s great museums without dealing with crowds or bored kids. I keep hoping that they design a similar family tour of Musee d’Orsay.”
Eric Støen, “15 Kid Friendly Highlights from Europe,” Travel Babbo, September 2014.
“We did four kid-friendly walks around Paris with Paris Muse and Context Travel…But if we had to recommend just one to others, it would be Paris Muse’s private tour of the Louvre…definitely the kid-friendliest way to see the world’s most popular museum, and very educational and fun for all of us.”
“A new tour for teenage tourists at the Louvre,” RFI radio interview featuring Paris Muse director Inge Laino discussing the highlights of our new tour for families with teens, Louvre Quest, December 2012.
Elizabeth Thorp, “36 Hours in Paris Avec Enfants: 5 Things to Do and See,” Huffington Post, April 13, 2012.
“Paris Muse has a group of family-focused tours to make your experience in Paris a lasting memory for your children. We chose the Paris Muse Clues: A Family Tour for Young Treasure Hunters of The Louvre. Our guide, Emma, was from Ireland but was in Paris studying art and was a wonderful and patient guide for the girls. Emma’s tour allowed us and the girls to learn from the same works of art, but the kids received motivation through “Paris Muse Clues,” our educational and interactive treasure hunt through a broad range of collections (Ancient Near East, Greek and Roman, Renaissance Italian, French), asking specific and detailed questions about many of the Louvre’s masterpieces….This is a wonderful way to for families to experience Parisian art and culture and keep children engaged and interested in learning more.”
Kirsti Marcelle, “A Scavenger Hunt in the Louvre with Paris Muse,” Ciao Bambino! June 2011.
“…The guide had an art degree and told us so many interesting facts about the painters and the artwork. You could tell that she liked having kids on the tour and knew how to keep them interested. Although the Louvre tour is labeled as a family tour, both the kids and adults liked it equally and I would go back and take the tour again as an adult without the kids!”
Eleanor Beardsley, “Thieves Steal Picasso, Matisse Paintings,” All Things Considered, NPR Radio, May 2010.
“Paris Muse founder discusses the MAMVP heist as an educational and historical—rather than financial— loss: Professor ELLEN MCBREEN (Art History, Wheaton College): “I could teach an abbreviated history of art in France – 1905, 1922 – with just these five paintings because they are, you know, that rich in ideas and innovations. And one of the great losses, of course is that collections are arranged to tell stories, and now five chapters of that story are gone.”
Katie Bowman, “Monet in Minutes,” New York Post, March 2009.
“If only there was a way to see the city that every other American didn’t know about. Enter Ellen McBreen and her tour company, Paris Muse. She describes her tours like French meals: “Small and delicious.”…Paris Muse is staffed by a small group of international art historians — that doesn’t translate into lectures, homework and quizzes, but a one-to-one gallery tour looking at movements, seminal works and significant artists, and how they all fit together.”
Nigel Tisdall, “Ten Ways to Love the Louvre,” Telegraph UK, December 2008.
“Book a tour with Paris Muse (www.parismuse.com). Led by art historians in groups of no more than four, these follow themes such as Hidden Masterpieces and the History of Paris. From €85 (£70), including admission; family tours are also available.”
Sally Horchow, “Paris People,” Indagare.com
“Paris-based art historian Ellen McBreen came up with the idea for Paris Muse when she was teaching part-time (while completing a dissertation for New York University) and noticed that as she led her classes around the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou, curious museumgoers would tag along to hear what she was saying. Paris Muse now offers intimate, interactive tours for groups of no more than four people, customized for English speakers wanting to get the most out of their museum visits.
Since McBreen knows the most efficient pre-ticketed entrances at all the major cultural institutions, her clients spend little, if any, time standing in line. And her team of historians, teachers and writers are engaging and knowledgeable. Having an enthusiastic Princeton Ph.D. candidate explain Paris’s evolution through the Louvre’s large historical paintings spoiled me for audioguides forever. McBreen’s own two-hour Age of the Impressionists tour of the Musée d’Orsay was another highlight: Without her, I might have waited on line for hours and headed straight for the greatest-hits second floor, bypassing the fascinating works on the first, which are definitely not to be missed.”
“While teaching art history at the American University of Paris, Ellen McBreen often used the Louvre as her classroom. She noticed her students were frequently trailed by English-speaking museumgoers who listened to her lecture intently, thrilled to find a smart alternative to dreary audio guides and sightseeing groups.”
“Real-life Harvard graduate Ellen McBreen leads private, 2½-hour “Cracking the Da Vinci Code” art history tours that focus on the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci, along with the history of Mary Magdalene and the concept of the sacred feminine as reflected in the Louvre’s collections.”
“Clues in the Louvre,” The Sunday Telegraph (London), March 2005.
“Paris Muse offers intimate tours with art historians….Pamela, our guide, met us at the Arc du Carrousel outside the Louvre. She had an academic’s pale skin and an instantly engaging manner….Pamela’s erudition was enthralling…away from the crush of the Grand Gallery, the Louvre was a haven of calm.”
“Like other academics, McBreen challenges some of the notions put forward by Brown — but don’t expect a sanctimonious lecture. The genial 34-year-old slips in humorous asides and encourages participants to voice their opinions, expert or not….”Although our goal is to help people separate fact from fiction, we realize that simply correcting Brown’s ideas by trotting out the traditional scholarship would be dull and horribly pretentious,” McBreen added. “The tour is intended to be an interactive discovery, a conversation.”
“Facts about Fiction,” New York Times, September 2004 .
“Ellen McBreen, a Harvard-educated art historian and founder of the tour service Paris Muse, said she challenges some of the theories in the novel but tries not to undermine its joys during her popular ”Cracking the Da Vinci Code at the Louvre” tour.”
Deep into the ‘Code’,” Los Angeles Times, March 2004.
“On a rainy day in Paris last week, 50-year-old Linda Ackerman headed to the Louvre for a bit of detective work. Her checklist included the “Mona Lisa,” a painting that she had seen before — but not this way, not with new eyes on the “Cracking the Da Vinci Code at the Louvre” tour by Paris Muse.
Ackerman, who works as a bank officer in Philadelphia, had been considering a trip to Paris when a friend dangled the piece de resistance — the special Louvre tour. The 2-1/2-hour tour has been offered by Paris Muse since February and has become the guide service’s most popular, said director Ellen McBreen, an art historian with degrees from Harvard and New York University.
“For me, the thunderbolt came when visitors to the Louvre started asking me questions like, ‘Is this the room where the curator was murdered in “The Da Vinci Code?” ‘ ” McBreen said.”
“Themes raised in the book — pagan symbols in Christian art, the role of Mary Magdalene, and the theory of the “sacred feminine” — are fairly complex ideas. McBreen takes her customers toward understanding. You might start by knowing only what you read in the book, but you’ll end up wiser about art.”
“As with all [Paris Muse] tours, my guide Ellen was waiting for me with a tour-related reading list and my ticket in hand. We whisked past the crowd into the sun-drenched gardens. From there on out, it was a neophyte art lover’s dream come true. As we examined Rodin’s masterful ‘Gates of Hell,’ I noticed a tiny, strange sculpture at the bottom right of the doors. A lithe, naked nymph was balanced precariously on the shoulder of a gaunt, bearded man. I asked Ellen about it, convinced that I’d get a vague response at best. ‘That was Rodin’s signature for this piece,’ Ellen explained. ‘It shows the artist being visited by a female muse as a source of inspiration, but it also shows how Rodin was obsessed by sexuality….’ Wow. This was nothing like the audio guide.”
“It was perhaps a little early in the day to be discussing the difference between naked and nude in modern art. The moment my private guide began explaining the subtleties of this distinction, with Manet’s “Olympia” (1863) boldly staring right back at us, I realized immediately that this would be no ordinary museum morning at the Musée d’Orsay…
The experience proved to be both educational and entertaining, banishing the dusty ghosts of bygone art history courses…My knowledgeable instructor Ellen McBreen made the mini-course a lively, interactive conversation between the two of us, neatly folding my observations into her discussion of the Impressionists. McBreen kept me steadily focused on understanding the artists’ innovations in the context of late-19th-century art, and the 90-minute tour flew by without a mid-lecture nap.”
“Paris Muse takes small groups on tutorial-style visits of the capital’s art scene, with itineraries stretching from the Impressionists at the Musée d’Orsay to temporary exhibitions.”
“As part of a program called Paris Muse, visitors to the Louvre can hire an English-speaking art historian for a one-on-one tutorial on important works hanging in the famous French museum.”
Paris In Sites Newsletter, November 2002.
“I had a wonderful tour of the Matisse-Picasso exhibit at the Grand Palais with Ellen McBreen of Paris Muse…I greatly enjoyed Ellen’s very professional and personalized tour. We avoided what Ellen calls the ‘slow moving herds’ at this hugely popular exhibit… Ellen already had my ticket so we whizzed straight to the exhibit. “The influence of African art on both Matisse and Picasso was a revelation for me and Ellen ‘walked’ me through what I’d say are more complex and harder to ‘understand’ Picasso paintings…She really helped me understand the differences as well as the similarities that I would not have ‘seen’ visiting the exhibit on my own.” Click here for the complete review
“Culture vultures can now have their own art historian to accompany them on visits round their favourite Paris attractions like the Musée Rodin…”