Eugène Atget, ‘Hôtel Gouthières, 6 rue Pierre Bulet’, 1905, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Sheet: 21.5 x 18.1 cm (8 7/16 x 7 1/8 in.)

About Eugène Atget

Thanks to Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget is posthumously recognized as one of the foremost early modern photographers, whose work serves as a sensitively observed record of Old Paris, its citizens and environs. His lifespan corresponded with Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s famously wholesale transformation of Paris into a modern city. Working both on commission and in response to public interest, he took up photography in the late 1880s, turning his camera on the as-yet unchanged sections of Paris in 1898. He captured streetscapes, shop fronts, and architectural details in a straight, documentary style, against the then-dominant Pictorialist trend. Until his final years, he aimed to make documents, not art. By the early 1920s, and until his death, Atget changed his focus and mood. His late works are expressive and metaphorical, and were championed by the Surrealists for their poetic, uncanny, and haunting air.

French, 1857-1927, Libourne, France, based in Paris, France

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Strength in Numbers: Photography in Groups, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
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