Friday, July 30, 2010

Albert Kahn - Early 20th Century Colour Photographs

I was sent a daily link from Very Short List and wound up searching the Albert Kahn Museum site.

Albert Kahn, (Under 'Albert Kahn (1860-1940)' , "... realising that his era was to witness great changes, he began to build up an iconographic memory of societies, environments and lifestyles – many of them traditional – around the world. From 1909 to 1931, he commissioned photographers and film cameramen to record life in over 50 countries. The images were held in the Archive of the Planet, a collection of 180,000 metres of b/w film and more than 72,000 autochrome plates, the first industrial process for true colour photography, of which the museum now has the largest collection in the world."

I'll be taking my sweet time and gazing through as much of the collection as possible, it's absolutely fascinating and I'm not quite sure how I havn't heard of this man before.I'm sure this is probably a case of me just being out in space/unobservant and hence never encountering this collection.

In navigating the french site (Mon francais, c'est terrible!) I eventually found colour photos from Canada in the 1920's.

Always good to keep in mind that a photograph is not always an accurate representation of reality. As with paintings, photographs are the interpretation of the photographer of the scene or people in which he/she is taking a picture. With that interpretation comes the photographers message (whether intentionally or not) of class, culture, gender, etc. A photograph is often more useful in giving insight into the photographer's perception of the world than it is information on the subject.

Enjoy gazing and musing!

random uni student