New collection: the Willy Ronis donation
The Lovers of the Bastille, Willy Ronis, Charenton-le-Pont, Médiathèque de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine© Ministère de la Culture - Médiathèque du Patrimoine, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Willy Ronis
After an estate settlement lasting almost thirty years, the Médiathèque de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine this year takes charge of the complete works of Willy Ronis, one of the great photographers of the 20th century, now distributed by our agency.
The photographer made his first donation to the French government in 1983. It was complemented by a second donation in 1989 and then again by his will in 2009. It is remarkable for a body of work to be preserved in its entirety in this way. It includes all of his black and white and colour negatives in glass and film formats, as well as all prints. In addition to this photographic media, the photographer's personal archives are also included to assist in documenting his work.
A bystander at the 14 July march, 1936, Willy Ronis, © Ministère de la Culture - Médiathèque du Patrimoine, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Willy Ronis otographer's personal archives are also included to assist in documenting his work.
The Culture ministry assembled albums under the direction of the artist at each stage of the donation process, between 1983 and 2006. This produced six albums of 590 photographs selected by Ronis himself in a 24 x 30 cm format, accompanied with commentary and anecdotes on the circumstances behind the shots, the equipment used and any problems that may have occurred in printing the image.
Aubagne, 1947, Willy ronis, © Ministère de la Culture - Médiathèque du Patrimoine, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Willy Ronis
This is the beginning of a new chapter, the start of a scientific cataloguing of Ronis' work as well as its rediscovery.