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Eugène Atget. Boulevard de Strasbourg, Corsets, Paris, 1912

Eugène Atget (French, 1857–1927). Boulevard de Strasbourg, Corsets, Paris, 1912. Gelatin silver print from glass negative. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005 (2005.100.511)

Exhibition Objects

Paris as Muse

Photography, 1840s–1930s

January 28–May 4, 2014

Oysters and a glass of wine, a corner café, the Sunday bird market on the Île de la Cité, a lover's stolen kiss: Paris has loomed large in the imagination of artists, writers, and architects for centuries. For 175 years, it has attracted photographers from around the world who have succumbed to its spell and made it their home for part, if not all, of their lives.

This exhibition celebrates the first one hundred years of photography in Paris. Known as the "City of Light" even before the birth of the medium in 1839, Paris has been muse to many of the most celebrated photographers, from Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (one of the field's inventors) and Nadar to Charles Marville, Eugène Atget, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. The show focuses primarily on architectural views, street scenes, and interiors. It explores the physical shape and texture of Paris and how artists have found poetic ways to record its essential qualities using the camera.

Related Exhibition

Concurrent with Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s–1930s, the related exhibition Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris (January 29–May 4, 2014) examines the life and career of Charles Marville (1813–1879), widely acknowledged as one of the most talented photographers of the nineteenth century.