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Photographing the heritage of the 19th and 20th centuries

jeudi 06 avril 2017

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  • Aviateur américain prenant des photographies des tranchées ennemies afin d'optimier les tirs de l'artillerie
    American pilot taking photographs of enemy trenches to optimise artillery fire
    (C) Ministère de la Culture – Médiathèque du Patrimoine, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Committee on public information Washington DC

To mark its twentieth anniversary, the Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine is publishing a book looking back at 150 years of photographic history from its archives and collections.

The Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, operated by Monuments Historiques, manages a collection of around 15 million negatives and 4 million prints. It is one of the richest collections in Europe. The collections were founded with the Mission héliographique of 1851, the first ever national photographic commission. From 1875, it expanded to include all of the artistic disciplines. A number of famous photographers are featured: Le Gray, Baldus, Mieusement, Marvile, Atget, Nadar… The creation of the Army Photographic and Cinematographic Division during the first world war expanded the collections of war photography.

The MAP now houses a very diverse range of collections:

► Sites and monuments: the Monuments historiques, d'architectes et d'érudits administration archive.
► Fine arts: the Beaux-arts and Museums administration resource (until the 1970s), the archives for the universal exhibitions and salons.
► The first world war: photographs taken during the conflict, foreign press archives, the Ann Morgan archive.
► Portraits, performance and cinema: professional portrait studios (Nadar, Studio Harcourt, Lévin) and set photographers (Corbeau, Voinquel, Lowenthal),
► Travel and exhibitions: photographs taken on every continent since 1850.
► Artistic photographic works, including Willy Ronis and André Kertèsz.
► Amateur photographic works, including the Touring Club de France and Émile-Constant Puyo.