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Eugène Atget: old Paris

Showcasing over 200 of his photographs

Eugène Atget Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville 1921 gelatin Aristotype, Art Gallery of NSW; The former Collège de Chanac, 12 rue de Bièvre, 5th arrondissement August 1900; Shop sign, au Rémouleur, on the corner of the rue des Nonnains-d’Hyères and rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, 4th arrondissement July 1899 albumen photographs © Musée Carnavalet, Paris / Roger-Viollet / TopFoto

The first comprehensive exhibition in Australia of the work of Eugène Atget (1857–1927) will showcase over 200 photographs primarily from the more than 4000-strong collection of Musée Carnavalet, Paris, with the important inclusion of Atget’s work, as compiled by Man Ray, from the collection of George Eastman House, Rochester, USA.

The photographs offer a portrait of the city of Paris and its outskirts and clearly reveal the evolution of Atget’s work. Atget did not train as a photographer and only turned to it to try to earn a living, having been unsuccessful in other fields. He started out in the provinces but soon arrived in Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. Atget was considered a commercial photographer who sold what he called ‘documents for artists’, ie photographs of landscapes, close-up shots, genre scenes and other details that painters could use as reference. As soon as Atget turned his attention to photographing the streets of Paris, his work attracted the attention of leading institutions such as Musée Carnavalet and the Bibliothèque Nationale, which became his principal clients.

The Art Gallery of NSW is the only Australian venue. The exhibition is jointly organised by Fundación Mapfre, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Musée Carnavalet-Histoire de Paris, and Paris Musées.


Principal sponsor
Herbert Smith Freehills

On view
24 Aug – 4 Nov 2012
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney

$10.00, $8.00 concession

Media contact

Susanne Briggs
Tel 02 9225 1791
Mob 0412 268 320

Download full media release

Download full media release (PDF 466.2 KB)