Podcasts from the Paris museums

A quick guide to the cultural podcasts – short and long – being produced by the Paris museums

From commentaries to fiction, the Paris museums’ podcasts are reaching a wider and wider audience. A great opportunity to learn more about art, history or biodiversity, or even to follow a guided tour from the comfort of your living room. Whatever the format, they’ll boost your cultural capital – so reach for those earphones!

Pompidou Centre

Centre Pompidou © Amélie Dupont - Architecte : Renzo Piano et Richard Rogers

Each month, the Pompidou Centre explores a major work from its collection in ‘Un podcast, une œuvre’ (1 podcast 1 artwork). Taking the form of interviewstalks or visits to the archives, the podcasts are grouped under different headings, such as ‘Art and therapy’, ‘Art and consumption’ or ‘Art and feminism’.

1 podcast 1 œuvre

And to dig deeper into the world of the artists that feature in its permanent collection, the Pompidou Centre proposes a new range of audio guides that provide a detailed commentary on each work. In a little over ten minutes at a time, you’ll end up knowing all there is to know about the classic works of modern and contemporary art.

Walk-through commentaries

National Library of France

BNF Site Richelieu, Paris © OTCP - David Paul Carr

This is a real gold mine! The YouTube page of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France features a vast selection of podcasts and short videos. Discover the secrets behind a collection of early world maps and listen to researchers discussing their specialist subjects and latest work. Learn all about the world of Fantasy, the works of J R R Tolkien, lift the curtain on the theatre or discover the lives of the pioneers of feminism in France. A rich programme that includes hour-long lectures as well as short ‘key facts’ videos.

Podcasts from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Grand Palais

Grand Palais Extérieur Statue Charles de Gaulle © Bertrand Marc 164-20

Michael Jackson, Fous de Lune, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Hergé, and more – all the Grand Palais’s exhibitions can be revisited here in the form of lectures or round table discussions with historians and researchers. Providing a great opportunity to learn more about art, the podcasts are both comprehensive and highly accessible.

Podcasts from the Grand Palais

The Louvre  

Musée du Louvre et Pyramide © DR via Pxhere

For fans of Leonardo da Vinci who want to learn more about his work, the Louvre is launching a series of five podcasts – available on Deezer, Soundcloud, Spotify or Apple Podcasts – entitled ‘Quand la peinture raconte Léonard’ (Leonardo recounted by his painting). Each episode lasts about ten minutes and reveals the secrets behind the masterpieces of the Renaissance genius that feature in the Louvre’s collection. And that’s not all: here you’ll also find the podcast series ‘Les Enquêtes du Louvre’ (stories of crime and art at the Louvre).

Podcasts from the Louvre

Musée des Invalides

Hôtel National des Invalides, façade extérieure, Paris © Fotolia - Crobard

There’s something for history buffs too: the Musée de l’Armée-Invalides is producing five podcasts for each of its exhibitions. Historians and researchers delve into the lesser-known aspects of some key historical figures and events. Napoleon in Saint Helena, Secret Wars, Churchill and De Gaulle, Musketeers, France and Germany 1870-71, and more – around ten exhibitions to visit virtually.

Podcasts from the Musée de l'Armée-Invalides

Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle

Scientists at the Natural History Museum are speaking out to warn of the risks of ecological collapse. ‘Pour que la nature vive’ (so that nature can live) is a 12-episode series of audio podcasts aiming to help us better understand the world around us, the fragility of nature, and the wealth of biodiversity. 

Pour que nature vive podcasts

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay Seine Vedettes de Paris © Joe DeSousa via Flickr

The Musée d'Orsay has launched its ‘Promenades Imaginaires’ podcasts, which will be appreciated by adults and children alike! Travel back in time to the nineteenth century to discover the secrets behind the paintings of DegasRenoir, Morisot and other artists. And Léopold Chauveau’s endearing monsters have plenty of stories to tell.

Musée national Picasso-Paris

The Musée national Picasso-Paris proposes a series of podcasts on a variety of themes exploring the work and creative process of this major twentieth-century artist. Entitled ‘Picasso Poète’, the series consists of two playlists, one aimed at adults and one especially designed for children. 

The podcasts of the Musée national Picasso-Paris

Paris Musées

Fée Electricité - Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris

Paris Musées, which manages the museums run by the City of Paris – the Paris Catacombes, the Archeological crypt, Balzac's house, Victor Hugo's house, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the Liberation of Paris-Général Leclerc-Jean Moulin, the Bourdelle Museum, the Carnavalet Museum, the Cernuschi Museum, the Cognacq Jay Museum, the musée de la Vie Romantique, the Petit Palais, and the Zadkine Museum – proposes an impressive number of podcasts on a variety of themes. One series, aimed at children and young people, is the ‘Paris résonne’ (Paris resonates) series, and there’s also the 'Must-see works at the Museum of Modern Art.

All the podcasts from Paris Musées

OLMA at the Cité des Sciences

Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris - Vue extérieure © Ph Levy

We follow the adventures of OLMA, an imaginary machine, who tells us stories from his island in Norway. On the programme: fictions, travels in the sky, in space, in the human brain... A scientific and entertaining podcast imagined by the Cité des Sciences, in partnership with France Inter.

More information on the OLMA podcast