A tangible multiverse?
Daguerre invites us to collect the albums of travelers from the past.
An old album of travel photographs is a world within reach to our curiosity. Compared to a painting, an engraving or a singular photographic print, as beautiful and important as it may be, there is an additional dimension, in the mathematical sense, a dynamic experienced by the traveler and which persists until our present. A collection of forty albums becomes almost a forty-dimensional universe, even if several of them sometimes unfold in parallel directions, such as several German ships on their way to Tsingtao.
And then again, there is this duality that appears immediately, this dialogue between on the one hand the artists or photographers, professional or simple amateurs, and on the other hand the creator, the first possessor of the album, who assembled with patience and pleasure the prints, adding captions, notes, newspaper cuttings, even watercolors.
This sale, this catalog, is an opportunity to consider photographic albums as a format, a theme of collection, with their specificity and a modest attempt at description, a very hasty summary, because some of them are real exhibitions stored in a suitcase. These surviving albums – they escaped the dismemberment and dispersion that each generation imposes on the majority of collections – were accumulated towards the end of the last century by a compulsive collector of paper.
If collectors wish, future sales will follow with the rest of the albums, trips around the Mediterranean, Italy, and Russia. For almost all of the albums, there are still many photographs to be attributed, places to be identified, and annotations to be deciphered. In order to give an idea of the extent of the investigations to be pursued, some fifteen singular proofs encountered in the pages of the forty albums are proposed here as an introduction to the catalog itself.
Viewing in Paris 10-30 November 2021
5 bis rue du Cirque, 75008 Paris – by appointment
Expert – Serge Plantureux – [email protected] or +33 126.96.36.199.74
EXHIBITION AT DROUOT – Wednesday, Dec 1st, 2021 – from 11:00 to 18:00
SALE – Thursday, Dec 2nd 2021 – at 4pm