Friday, February 25, 2022

Photography Exhibitions in Paris

We find that there is an international photography fair in Paris and several of the museums and galleries are displaying great photography, including Annie Leibovitz, whose work we have seen in books and articles, but never (until now) in person.  Several of the exhibitions are listed in the Paris weekly guides, others we just find as we wander around the city.

The first exhibition we visit, at the Musée du Luxembourg in the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens), contains works of Vivian Maier, a French-American woman who spent much of her life as a nanny and housekeeper, mostly in Chicago, and carried a camera everywhere she went.  Her work was discovered and recognized after her death, leaving a legacy of over 150,000 photographs.

Vivian Maier

Next, while crossing the Seine, we spot a sign on the wall of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, one of the five academies of the Institut de France, advertising a display of the work of Annie Leibovitz in their Palais de l'Institut de France.  We enter and enjoy, trying, along with everyone else in the rooms, to recognize all the famous people she has photographed.

Spotted on the street

Annie Leibovitz

The third exhibition that we visit is located in Jeu de Paume (one of the small museums in the Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Gardens), facing Place de la Concorde) and is from the collection of Thomas Walther donated to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an assortment of European and North American avant-garde photography from the first half of the twentieth century.

Thomas Walther collection

It's been a serious day of photography and we've seen some incredible works in the three exhibitions.  One of the great things about visiting Paris is that one never knows what one will find.  Just wander, look around, and see what there is to discover this time!

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