5 Quai Anatole France
+33 (0)1 40 49 48 14
Through August 18th 2013,
Marlene and Spencer Hays began buying works of art in the early 1970s. Like many of their fellow Americans, they
initially focused on late 19th and early 20th century American painting, carrying off trophies won in the auction houses of
New York and London.
The collection includes a considerable number of paintings and drawings depicting Paris in the 19th century and the Belle
Epoque. Looking at these works on their walls reminds the Hays of the times they too strolled around the streets of Paris
or in the Tuileries Gardens.
To house these treasures, the Hays built their own hôtel particulier in Nashville, a duplicate of the Hôtel de Noirmoutier in
rue Grenelle in Paris, and furnished it with 18th century antiques. The paintings in their New York apartment, decorated by
Renzo Mongiardino (1916-1998), are also complemented by exquisite furniture like the set of chairs designed by Paul
Follot in the 1920s.
Paintings, sculptures, drawings, and rare books fill every room in these residences. But the Hays have agreed to strip
their walls for a few months and return the masterpieces of French art to their country of origin, where visitors to the
Musée d’Orsay can see them.