Posts Tagged ‘urban


Exhibition: ‘Eugène Atget: As Paris Was’ at Ticho House, the Museum of Israel, Jerusalem

Exhibition dates: 23rd March – 30th June 2012


Eugène Atget. 'Saint-Cloud' Nd


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Albumen print



Some Atget photographs that I have never seen before makes this posting all the more pleasurable. The pendulous nature of the sea monster, like a leg hanging over the edge of a table (can’t u just feel the weight of it!); the oppressive solidity of the wall on the left hand side of Coin des rues Poulletier et Saint-Louis-en-l’île (c. 1915); and the two undated photographs of Saint-Cloud: the dark, spidery presence of the tree in winter and the absolute recognition of the visual escape point in the reflection of trees in pond. Magnificent.


Many thankx to the Museum of Israel for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.


Eugène Atget. 'Saint-Cloud' Nd


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Albumen print


Eugène Atget. 'Bagatelle' 1926


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Albumen print



The photographic oeuvre of Eugène Atget (1857-1927) has become a landmark in the history of the medium, and his works are recognised as an integral part of the canon of documentary photography. His subject matter was Paris with its houses, streets, parks, and castles – interior and exterior details of architecture being transformed by modernity. His fame came decades later; however his enduring legacy in the field is still discernible worldwide. This exhibition of Atget’s photographs of Paris, the first ever in Israel.

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem has announced  the acquisition of 200 photographs by the pioneering French documentary photographer Eugène Atget, gifted by Pamela and George Rohr, New York, and an anonymous donor, New York. These works add an important new dimension to the Museum’s exceptional photography holdings, encompassing over 55,000 works from the earliest days of photography to contemporary times.

Seventy of these newly gifted works will be presented in Eugène Atget: As Paris Was, an exhibition at Ticho House, the Israel Museum’s historic venue in downtown Jerusalem, featuring Atget’s images of Paris from the mid-1890s until 1927. Marking the first ever presentation of the photographer’s work in Israel, the exhibition is curated by Nissan Perez, Horace and Grace Goldsmith Senior Curator in the Museum’s Noel and Harriette Levine Department of Photography.

French photographer Eugène Atget is recognised internationally for his integral role in the canon of documentary photography. After working as a sailor, actor, and painter for almost thirty years, he embarked on a self-assigned mission to document French life, culture, and history in and around Paris. He chose houses, streets, parks, and castles as his subjects, capturing interior and exterior details of architecture being transformed by modernity. Without any official recognition, this enterprise yielded a massive visual compendium of nearly 10,000 photographs that Atget loosely designated as “documents pour artistes” (documents for artists), created by means of anachronistic technology and an antiquated camera.

“We are deeply grateful to our donors for this generous gift of so important a trove of works by Eugène Atget, a pivotal figure in the history of photography,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “We are proud to be sharing Atget’s unique vision with Israeli audiences for the first time and in the resonant setting of our historic Ticho House, which also juxtaposes turn-of-the-last century Jerusalem with its encroaching modernity.”

“Atget’s photographs of Paris, including those featured in Eugène Atget: As Paris Was, do not depict the city as a bustling modern metropolis,” said exhibition curator Nissan Perez. “He trained his lens on the older, often decaying buildings and parks. The scenes he captured, mostly devoid of human presence, express desolation and solitude, reminiscent of an empty stage awaiting the actors’ entrance.”

Press release from the Museum of Israel, Jerusalem website


Eugène Atget. 'Poupées, 63 rue de Sèvres' 1910-11


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Poupées, 63 rue de Sèvres
Albumen print


Eugène Atget. 'Hôtel, 1 rue des Prouvaires et 54 rue Saint-Honoré' 1912


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Hôtel, 1 rue des Prouvaires et 54 rue Saint-Honoré
Albumen print


Eugène Atget. 'Coin des rues Poulletier et Saint-Louis-en-l'île' c. 1915


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Coin des rues Poulletier et Saint-Louis-en-l’île
c. 1915
Albumen print


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927) 'Gargouille, cour du Louvre' 1902


Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)
Gargouille, cour du Louvre
Albumen print



Ticho House
10 HaRav Agan Street, Jerusalem
(near Zion Square)
Phone: 02-645-3746

Ticho House hours:
Sunday – Thursday 12pm – 8pm
Friday and holiday eves 10am – 2pm
Saturday closed

Ticho Museum website


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Exhibition: ‘Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx by Ray Mortenson’ at the Museum of the City of New York

Exhibition dates: 14th November 2008 – 12th April 2009


Ray Mortenson. "Untitled (7-16-6)" 1984


Ray Mortenson
Untitled (7-16-6)
Gelatin silver print



Documenting the abandoned, burnt out, and razed structures of entire city blocks in the South Bronx in the aftermath of the 1970s, during which this neighborhood experienced dramatic decline, Broken Glass: Photographs of the South Bronx by Ray Mortenson will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York from November 14, 2008 through March 9, 2009. The 50 black and white cityscapes and interiors on view – five of which are large-scale – were taken between 1982 and 1984, and they vividly illustrate the results of a downslide that began in the Great Depression of the 1930s and accelerated with the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway in the 1950s and the fiscal crisis of the 1970s. Broken Glass is Mortenson’s first museum exhibition in New York City, and it is the first presentation of the South Bronx photographs.

The 50 photographs on view, all black and white, range in size from the smallest at approximately 11″ by 14″, to the most monumental at 40” by 60”. Each conveys a devastating silence, serving as a reminder that these city blocks were once the homes of individuals, families, and a large community. Mortenson has written, “The buildings were like tombs – sealed up, broken open and plundered. Inside, stairways with missing steps led up to abandoned apartments. Doors opened into rooms that were once bedrooms or kitchens. Small things left behind hint at who the occupants might have been – a hairbrush, photographs, or bits of clothing.” Ghostly remnants of the once prosperous and thriving neighborhoods can be glimpsed in his images which document the extent and severity of the urban decline experienced in the South Bronx.

These photographs document an important chapter in the history of a New York City neighborhood, augmenting their aesthetic power. The decline of the South Bronx began as early as the Great Depression when previously sustained development came to an abrupt halt. After World War II an exodus of New York’s middle class began and continued into the 1970s. This caused a population decline throughout the city, but the effects were particularly hard on the South Bronx as more than 200,000 residents left the community between 1970 and 1980. As entire communities left the city, Robert Moses’ road building and slum clearance, along with other urban renewal initiatives had dramatic effects on the lives of all who remained. In the 1970s New York City faced another economic crisis and virtual bankruptcy. City government was unable to maintain services in the South Bronx and “planned shrinkage” became an unofficial policy as services were slowly withdrawn. With little incentive for landlords to upgrade or even maintain their property, waves of arson and “insurance fires” decimated the by now largely minority community. Astonishingly, some 12,000 fires a year occurred through the 1970s, averaging more than 30 a day.

A successful resurrection of the South Bronx began in the mid-1980s, as grass roots organizations and community development corporations, along with financial reinvestment by the City, sparked its regeneration. The photographs on view stand in starkest contrast to today’s revitalized neighborhood, which has been the result of the dedication of its citizens combined with government support. The photographs serve as a reminder of the ruins that once dominated the now-vibrant streets and that the balance between prosperity and urban decline can be fragile.

Brief Biography

Ray Mortenson was born in Wilmington, Delaware in 1944 and studied art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the San Francisco Art Institute. In the early 1970s, Mortenson moved to New York and began working with photography. His first significant photographic project was a comprehensive investigation of the industrial landscapes of New Jersey’s Meadowlands (1974-1982). Since then, Mortensen has continued to focus on landscape photography that is often interested in liminal places of transition, set apart from everyday life. His photographs have been accepted into the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.”

Press release from the Museum of the City of New York website



Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029
Phone: 212-534-1672

Opening hours:
7 days a week 10.00 am – 6.00 pm

Museum of the City of New York website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Orphans and small groups’ 1994-96 Part 2

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