‘Emotive geography’ (4): Musée Jean Jacques Henner, Paris


Trying to map out Paris and London on the basis of the feelings that certain spaces evoke gives an entirely new way of relating to each of these two cities. And perhaps it even transforms one’s broader view of what enhances the human experience – Paris and London are becoming active agents in facilitating my sense of wellbeing, my ability to function well and succeed at what I am doing. And being able to have a personal ‘map’ of the two cities based on the various emotional states that various urban spaces create, it becomes easier to appropriate spaces, give meaning to them, and engage with the cities on terms beyond their practical function. They no longer simply represent places to get ahead but places that have a stake in my growth and transformation on several levels – beyond merely that of getting an education. My place of study, and my graduate work becomes only one dimension of the experience and purpose of being in these places.

The museum of artist Jean Jacques Henner in Paris is one space that I now associate with contentment and feelings of calm – very important emotional currency in the world of continuous thought, and demands on time!

It is a quiet space, adorned with numerous entrancing pictures set in elegant surroundings. The wooden floors and elaborate chandeliers add to a sobering, tranquil space.

Thank goodness for a sobering space that always brings me into a place of recollection and an overarching sense, feeling really, of wellbeing. For that, I would site Jean Jacques Henner as the 236th reason to be grateful for the privilege of studying an living in Paris and London! Not all university experiences include access to fine art and opportunities to pause and find a deeper sense of wellness, peace…