Past exhibition

Eugène Atget – Paris c. 1900 (Retrospective)

01.03.–25.05.2008

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Eugène Atget (1857–1927) is one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. He became famous primarily through his views of the “old Paris”, which were coveted by collectors even during his lifetime, and which served numerous painters as sample prints for their work. For a long time known only to a small circle of historians, artists and museum curators, Atget worked tirelessly at capturing with his camera the part of old Paris that was in the process of disappearing: monuments, picturesque corners of the city and hidden courtyards, as well as window displays, shop signs and door knockers, street traders, prostitutes and fairground stalls – and, last but not least, the romantic landscapes of the Parc de Saint-Cloud in the environs of Paris.

It was only shortly before his death that his unique status was recognised, and from the 1930s on he became a model and inexhaustible inspiration for photographers as different as Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Robert Doisneau, Bernd and Hilla Becher. Thus he had an enduring influence on 20th century photography. Atget, who was often referred to by the naïve painter Henri Rousseau as the “Rousseau of photography” owing to his affinity with the latter's work, soon made his mark on Robert Desnos, Walter Benjamin and the surrealists.

The exhibition was curated by Sylvie Aubenas and Guillaume Le Gall. A cooperation with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

Main sponsor: UBS AG

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