Atget's Seven Albums (Yale Publications in the History of Art)

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9780300059168: Atget's Seven Albums (Yale Publications in the History of Art)
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Between 1909 and 1915 Eugene Atget produced seven albums filled with photographs of Paris at the height of its belle epoque. The albums were prototypes for books that were never published. Now, Atget's albums are presented in full, edited with the sequencing and repetition that the great photographer intended. In addition, Atget's pictures are analyzed in a new way: as commercial picture documents produced by a photographer for the artists, archivists, antiquarians, designers and builders who were his clients. Molly Nesbidt defines and explores the nature of Atget's pictures in terms of their form, practical vision and relation to knowledge, providing a discussion of this commercial picture document. She also ofers a glimpse into the politics of Atget's ways of seeing: how he identified with the far left; how his sense of modern life and the variety in popular culture was exhibited through the artisans, cabarets, ragpicker carts and marketplaces he photographed.

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Eugene Atget (1856-1927) produced seven albums that systematically documented aspects of belle epoque Paris between 1909 and 1915, intending them for eventual publication. Atget's work was rescued from obscurity by the photographer Berenice Abbot, who purchased much of it after Atget's death and published it. In a learned and perceptive text that is readable and well documented, Nesbit analyzes the source of Atget's images as "commercial picture documents" produced for paying customers: builders and designers, artists, and antiquarians. The seven albums, reproduced here in their entirety for the first time, document Paris subjects, from decorative architectural details and home interiors to views of city streets and the outskirts of Paris. Extensive appendixes further document Atget's work, and the bibliography gathers relevant sources on late 19th- and 20th-century French culture. An imporant and useful book for photography, art history, and French history collections.
- Kathleen Collins, New York Transit Museum Archives, Brooklyn
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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