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Drawing upon the significant holdings of the National Gallery of Art in 19th- and early 20th-century photographs of Paris, this exhibition celebrates the visual riches of the city and the tensions of its portrayal as both a modern capital and a nostalgic, perhaps even magical place. Beginning with early photographs made in the 1840s and 1850s by William Henry Fox Talbot, Gustave Le Gray, Charles Nègre and others, the exhibition highlights the central role Paris played in the emergent French school of photography. Photographs by Charles Marville, Louis-Émile Durandelle and others illuminate the urban transformation of Paris under Napoleon III. The gallery's strong collection of photographs by Eugène Atget reveals the photographer's uncanny eye for the details of daily Parisian life. The exhibition closes with works by such artists as André Kertész, Germaine Krull, Ilse Bing, and Brassaï, who were energized by the city's dynamic modernist culture in the 1920s.
Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Edward J. Lenkin.