During my Paris holiday I was really lucky to be able to take a tour of The Museum of Fairground Arts. The museum only offers guided tours a couple of times a week, and there was only one opportunity to go during my holiday. Though the museum was very dark, I took plenty of photos, so please enjoy.
There were three sections to the museum, this was where I started my tour. The tour was in French, but there were a lot of non-French speaking guests so they did their best to put little parts in English which I really appreciated.
This sculpture was encased in glass, riding on top of an Elephant. The little village is made entirely out of sugar and bread, would you believe it? It was hard to snap a picture as it’s very dark to preserve the artworks. The pattern above is from a huge hot air balloon which sits above the elephant.
I saw a lot of beautiful ladies! I particularly loved the angel as she reminded me of the Spielberg film A.I. She was very beautiful. I also loved all of the feathers around the sculpture of the dancer.
If you know me well, you’ll know I love a good automaton. This museum had really lived automaton experiences, with instruments that played themselves and an opera show with different types of singers. This cool unicorn was stood next to a self-playing piano. The man stood in the frame looked wistfully into the distance as he sang. I really like his expression.
We got to play on a horse racing machine, where the speed of the horse is determined by how good you are at this ski-ball game. I thought it was really funny to see it, as all of these machines are traditionally built about 40 minutes from my house in England.
This beautiful lady was the centre piece for a carousel which was specifically designed for the museum, to allow people to enjoy the themed room and exhibits. She’s quite similar to the museums logo – I loved the way the light hit her face.
On that carousel I rode this guy – can you guess what it is? I was told during that ride that this is a cat! I’m a huge fan of carousels, but this is the first time I’ve ridden a cat. He was very charming.
This beautiful horse was from a 110 year old carousel. Apparently it’s a French horse – which you can tell because they have carved manes and tails rather than hair, and they also have a snooty expression.
When carousels became popular, there were a lot of different themed animals that you could ride, including this friendly looking pig. Later on people also liked carousels themed around automotives or planes.
The oldest carousel in the museum was 120 years old. For this carousel, you had to get on to some metal bikes and pedal yourself around. The theme for the carousel was bicycle race, and it was completely powered by people pedaling around it. The tour guide said that once they put a team of policeman on it, and they cycled around 60mph collectively.
For the full museum experience, please enjoy this wonderfully twee video of the 110 year old carousel. If you’re in Paris, definitely go and visit!