Eugène Atget (French, 18571927)
Gelatin silver print; 9 1/8 x 6 15/16 in. (23.2 x 17.6 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1991 (1991.1233)
Eloquent testimony to Atget's regard for expressions of common folk, this photograph was part of a self-assigned survey of storefronts and commercial signs. In another's hands, the modest facade and rudimentary display (covered for lunch hour and against the midday heat) might be only charming, but so precisely are they framed and lit that they yield a handsome geometry of forms. Atget thus ennobled the little grocery and withdrew it from the predictable realm of the picturesque.