Exposition: Eugène Atget, Musée Carnavalet, Paris

From 25 April to 29 July 2012

The Carnavalet Museum presents the Parisian work of one of the most famous photographers of the 20th century, Eugène Atget (Libourne, 1857 – Paris, 1927).

The exhibition proposes a selection of 230 prints created in Paris between 1898 and 1927.

This retrospective, which brings together some well-known images and others previously unseen, paints an unusual portrait of the capital, far from the clichés of the Belle Époque. Visitors will discover the streets of the Paris of old, the gardens, the quays of the Seine, the former boutiques and the travelling salesmen. Atget’s photographs also reveal the changes in his processes: when he started out, this self-taught photographer tried to bring together landscapes and motifs and then images of Paris streets, in order to sell them to artists as models. It was when he dedicated himself to the streets of Paris that he attracted the attention of prestigious institutions such as the Carnavalet Museum and the National Library, which were to become his main clients until the end of his life.


In addition, one room in the exhibition is dedicated to the presentation of a series of 43 photograph prints, collected in the 1920s by the American artist Man Ray. This album, which is currently kept in Rochester (United States), allows visitors to gain a better understanding of Atget’s influence on the Surrealists. Reflecting on Atget’s prints, the public will also discover the work of Emmanuel Pottier (Meslay-du-Maine, 1864 – Paris, 1921), his practically unknown contemporary who, like other photographers, explored the subject of picturesque Paris.

Travelling exhibition also presented at the Fundación Mapfre in Madrid, the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

Carnavalet Museum
23, rue de Sévigné – 75003 Paris
Tel.: 01 44 59 58 58; Fax: 01 44 59 58 10
Open every day from 10am to 6pm
except Mondays and public holidays


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