by Andrea Rosen, Curator of Under the Surface.
The ability of Eugène Atget’s images of streets, shop windows, and parks to seem at once straightforward and uncanny was admired by the surrealists. Atget spent his thirty-year career documenting Old Paris, taking thousands of photographs that he primarily sold to libraries and archives. In the 1920s Man Ray elevated the aging Atget from obscurity by selecting four of his photographs to be published in the journal La Révolution Surréaliste. Many younger photographers were inspired to adopt his aesthetic of eerie emptiness in their depictions of urban streets.
Eugène Atget (French, 1857–1927)
Cour, 28 Rue Bonaparte, Paris, 1910
gelatin silver print
Museum Purchase 1986.52