Once a grand railway station, the beautiful Musée d’Orsay seemed destined to house artwork that would complement its stunning architecture and interior design. However, it was not until 1977 that the building became a museum, hosting the Impressionist collection from the Musée de Luxembourg. But before these artworks found their way to d’Orsay, they were rejected by the Musée Luxembourg, considered too experimental and too modern for the museums traditional tastes. But thanks to the determined prodding by the champion of Impressionism, Claude Monet, and the cleverness of an Impressionist patron and supporter, the Musée de Luxembourg finally, but reluctantly, opened its doors to this new artistic style.
Over the years, the Luxembourg Impressionist collection made its way from the Louvre to the Musée du Jeu de Paume, until overcrowding at this popular Impressionist exhibit forced the artworks of Monet, Manet, Van Gogh and countless others to their present home, the Musée d’Orsay. Now a Mecca of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, this former railway station safely guards the signature artistic style of France that so many had fervently rejected not so long ago.