20/30 What A Visit to the Musee D’orsay Taught me About Building a Powerful Personal Brand

What A Visit To The Musee D’orsay Taught Me

While I was in Paris, I signed up for a series of Airbnb experiences. If you find yourself in the city and craving some intelligent museum experiences,  please sign up for this 2 hour tour with Hugo and Vincent. of the Musee D’orsay.

It’s just ‘wow.’

Hugo was right on time, which I appreciated.  My tour paired me with a small group: A young couple from Oregon, with their young son and a mother daughter duo.   Hugo LOVES his work and its a joy to watch someone so enamored of his subject matter.  He distilled our tour and the 3,000 pieces in the museum down to one thesis:

“What was outrageous about this 19th Century painter?” 

This through line was our north star for the next 2 hours. We swooped past the Rodin sculptures and the miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty. Some would say this is sacrilege, but I appreciated the thread tying all the stops together. For the 2 hours, we did a tight walk through the ages: Neoclassicism, Realism, Romanticism, Impressionism, Post impressionism, viewing pieces from each era, and answering the question: What is outrageous about this artist for his time? We gazed at Theodore Chasseriau’s painting of a harem, with its blatant and outrageous sexuality jumping off the canvas. So much for only painting for the Church. We viewed Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” outrageous for the time because he was painting with visible glops of paint, but entirely focused on capturing the light.

As we were parting ways, Hugo could tell I was craving more. He suggested a book: Van Gogh’s letters to his brother, expressing his deep sadness that he didn’t make it in the Paris art scene while alive.  


I’m working with my Mastermind on the build of their personal brand in 2023. While women leaders are good at many things, they struggle with narrowing it down to ONE thing that is simple –and repeatable. They also struggle with a 100 creative ways to consistently talk about that ONE thing.

Hugo could have done a 2 hour tour, highlighting any number of things at the Museum, housing so many extraordinary things. I loved that he picked

one theme,

unique to him

and built joy around it.


If you would like to work on your ONE thing you wish to be known for, start by downloading my 7 steps to how I build a powerful personal brand. 

Theodore Chasseriau’s painting “Tepidarium.”

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