Friday, June 23, 2023

Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation - Paris France

Wall Street, New York 1915 by Paul Strand


The 3rd Arrondissement in Paris is filled with art shops, galleries, and small museums. They offer a wide range of genres and offerings. For those of you who are interested in photography, one place you must visit is the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.

By Martine Franck / Magnum Photos / Fondation HCB -, Fair use,

By Henri-Cartier Bresson - Original publication: unknownImmediate source:, Fair use,

The foundation was founded in 2003 by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), his wife Martine Franck (1938-2012), who was a wonderful photographer in her own right, and their daughter, Mélanie Cartier-Bresson. Its mission is to maintain and curate the collections of Franck and Cartier-Bresson, and to exhibit their work, and the work of other photographers.

By Alfred Stieglitz - [1], Public Domain,

When I visited the foundation, they were hosting an exhibit of work by Paul Strand (1890-1976). Strand was an American photographer whose work helped establish photography as an art form. He was one of the founders of a series of left-wing film and photography collectives - The Film and Photo League, Frontier Films, and eventually The Photo League. All of these groups had a focus on the lives and struggles of working class Americans. Many members of these groups were Communists and Marxists, and the Photo League was declared a “subversive organization” in 1947, and it was black-listed in 1948.

Boy, Uruapan Mexico, 1933

Kwthar, Kalata al Kobra, Delta Egypt 1959

Helen Bennett, War Bride. Vermont 1944

Fisherman, Banyuls, Pyrénées-Orientales, France 1950

Rose Griggy Krakua, Accra University, Ghana 1964

Under the effects of McCarthyism, Paul Strand left the United States in 1950 for France, where he lived for the rest of his life. He completed many projects, traveling to working class areas of France, the Outer Hebrides, Egypt, and Ghana. The photographs he made treated his subjects with a respect that few European photographers had shown up to that time. They were not “anthropological” in nature. Instead his photos give a real feel of the lives his subjects led. His work is a very personal look at people who were often overlooked.

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