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Eugene Atget
Boulevard de Strasbourg, Corsets, Paris
Gelatin silver print from glass negative

22.4 x 17.5 x [image size] cm
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Excerpt from The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Atget found his vocation in photography in 1897, at the age of forty, after having been a merchant seaman, a minor actor, and a painter. He became obsessed with making what he termed "documents for artists" of Paris and its environs and compiling a visual compendium of the architecture, landscape, and artifacts that distinguish French culture and history. By the end of his life, Atget had amassed an archive of more than eight thousand negatives, which he organized into such categories as Parisian Interiors, Vehicles in Paris, and Petits Métiers (trades and professions).

In Atget’s inventory of Paris, shop windows figure prominently and the most arresting feature mannequin displays. In the 1920s the Surrealists recognized in Atget a kindred spirit and reproduced a number of his photographs in their journals and reviews. Antiquated mannequins such as the ones depicted here struck them as haunting, dreamlike analogues to the human form.


Eugene Atget, French, (1857–1927)
b. February 12, 1857, Libourne, France
d. 1927

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: February 12

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