The Water Lilies - the street art version

In April 2018, the residents of the Coustou emergency shelter run by Emmaüs Solidarité in Paris took part in a unique encounter with Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, presented at the Musée de l’Orangerie. Two visits to the museum raised their awareness of this Impressionist masterpiece, and they then produced a fresco in the courtyard of the building under the direction of the street artist Babs.


This initiative is part of the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie’s desire to show its collections to the widest possible public by creating new forms of mediation and by maintaining a close relationship with its partners, including Emmaüs Solidarité. 


The Water Lilies fresco, rue Coustou, Paris, July 2018. Photos © Musée de l'Orangerie / Sophie Boegly-Crépy

To admire the fresco, ring the door of 4 bis rue de Coustou, 75018 Paris.











Photos © Musées d'Orsay et de l'Orangerie / Sophie Boegly-Crépy

In 2014, the collaboration between the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie and Emmaüs Solidarité lead to a project for an exhibition of photographs from the Musée d’Orsay’s collection.
Alongside this, a display of copies of the same works was presented in the Emmaüs basic training workshops in Paris, the Louvel-Tessier cultural centre and hostel and the Javel family hostel.
This initiative was specifically mentioned by the international committee for cultural education and initiatives (CECA) of the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) as part of the Best Practice Award 2015.

Our partnership then continued in 2015-2016 with the Malmaisons Hostel, and the Portraits of Women photography project, where female residents were photographed in the nave of the Musée d’Orsay and in the Musée de l’Orangerie’s Water Lilies gallery.

Prompted by a strong desire to open their collections to audiences with little access to culture, the teams at the Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie are continuing to develop new forms of mediation by maintaining close relationships with their institutional partners (hospitals, prisons, etc) and associations such as Emmaüs Solidarité through its Culture and Citizenship mission.