The Fondation’s conservation department regularly presents images that stand-alone, on the path of the visitors, that tell a unique story and thereby unravells the life of the man who bears the name of the institution. These pearls embody the remarkable career of a 20th century man, steeped in literature and art, whose curiosity was only equalled by his freedom.
Many photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson are now part of the collective memory and have left a lasting impression due to their link with history, each individual appropriating and forming an attachment with the images depending on their own sensitivity and personal experience.
The collection of more than 30,000 original prints selected by the photographer has many surprises in store. Each new exhibition at the Fondation HCB will reveal rarely published photographs.
This programme is supported by the Gutenberg Agency.
Saul Steinberg, Vermont, 1947
Henri Cartier-Bresson is 38 years old. The photographer, whose first passion was painting, often said: “drawing is a painful pleasure”. In 1946, during his trip to the United States, while travelling across the country and taking artists’ portraits for the influential magazine Harper’s Bazaar, he met the artist Saul Steinberg. In the 70s, Saul Steinberg gave Henri Cartier-Bresson a camera made of a block of wood with a nut for viewfinder and a bolt for a lens. Cartier-Bresson, who enjoyed keeping a certain distance in his relationship with photography, used to say: “Looking, finding becomes almost an end in itself, a sort of absolute: pretending to take a photograph with this fake Leica makes me just as happy as shooting with a real one.” On the death of Steinberg, in 1999, Cartier-Bresson wrote: “We had an invisible link.”
Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson
79 rue des Archives – 75003 Paris