|Key Attributes : Technique · Significant Marks · Conservation · Subject Series|
|General Information : Biography · Provenance and Significant Collections · References and Bibliography|
During his lifetime Atget sold his original prints to many institutions and private clients.
In the first volume of The Work of Atget (see bibliography), Maria Morris Hambourg states that after Atget's death in 1927, the executor of his estate, André Calmette, divided the work in two parts:
Stray prints appear in artists' albums from time to time, such as the ones acquired by Philadelphia painter Milton Bancroft when studying in Paris, pasted into an album currently in the collection of Daniel Wolf, Inc., NY.
Eugène Atget. Approximately 500 photographs.
The George Eastman House holdings span Atget’s career, from 1898 to 1927, though its strength is pre World War I. The years 1901, 1907, and 1908 are especially well represented.
The collection is organized into ten series. Eight of the series are the same that Atget used: Landscape Documents, Picturesque Paris I, II, III, Art of Old Paris, Environs, Topography of Old Paris, and Interiors. The other two series are a portfolio of modern prints of Atget’s work printed from original negatives by Berenice Abbott and a group of nearly 50 Atget photographs that belonged to Man Ray, the Surrealist painter and photographer. Atget’s photographs of store windows, mannequins, and window reflections are well represented in the Man Ray series.
GEH owns 498 prints by Atget, including a unique group known as the Man Ray Album--47 prints acquired by Man Ray from Atget himself, gathered in an album and purchased by the Museum in 1952. In the Man Ray album see Susan Laxton Paris As Gameboard, Man Ray’s Atgets, New York: Columbia University, 2002 .
Man Ray Album
In 1952 Beaumont Newhall, then Director of GEH, was contacted through Kodak-Pathé of Paris, to purchase a group of Atget photographs from the collection of "Madame Louette" of Boulogne-sur-Seine. The collection of 100 images was purchased for $285. Maria Morris Hambourg would later reveal that these prints were in reality assembled by a Paris bookseller named Alain Brieux who purchased the prints from an estate sale in 1950.
In October 1952 GEH purchased the Man Ray Album for $600.
In 1953 a group of more than 300 photographs by Atget were purchased for $275 from Pierre Berès, Inc., dealers in rare books and prints. These were acquired in the 1950s in Paris but there is no record of the source. In 1956 the Museum purchased 20 silver gelatin prints by Berenice Abbott from Atget's original negatives. This untitled portfolio was produced in an edition of 100.
Exhibition History - Document compiled by Anne Maryanski in the ambit of the Ryerson University Program in Photographic Preservation & Collections Management