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Eugène Atget's Trees: Newly Discovered Photographs from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Publisher: New York: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 2003
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Soft cover
ISBN: 1891024671
Condition: Fine / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 112707



First edition, first and only printing. Published in an edition of 1000 numbered copies (this being #660), stamped with number recto the final page. Soft cover. Light brown-gray card stock stiff boards with French folds and black paper spine, printed with title in black and rust on cover; no dust jacket as issued. The book is contained in a matching clamshell box, with title on front and spine, with heavy brown-gray paper-covered outer boards sandwiching a bright red paper-covered casing; the back cover of the book is pasted to the inside of the clamshell. Photographs by Eugène Atget. Essays by Sylvie Aubenas and Guillaume Le Gall. Design concept and packaging by March'adour. 96 pp., with 39 tipped-in tritone plates, sumptuously printed on heavy matte art paper from in-house separations by Musumeci, Val d'Aosta, Italy. Book 16 x 11-3/8 inches, clamshell box 17-1/8 x 12-1/8 inches. Out of print.


Fine in Near Fine clamshell box (light sunning to top edge, else Fine).


From the publisher: "When Eugène Atget was still alive, photographs and photographers were considered in a different light than they are today. At that time, no one would have dreamed of considering Atget an artist; he himself seems to have concurred, maintaining that the pictures he sold--at a price of 1 to 3 francs--were no more than documents. Libraries and museums constituted some of his most important clients; between 1900 and 1927, the Department of Prints and Photography of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France acquired thousands of his views of 'old Paris.' The manner of selecting these works remains obscure, but in 1995, after a laborious round of locating and classifying the historical photographs held by the department, a group of 39 hitherto unknown images by Atget were discovered. These studies of trees in the park at Saint-Cloud are essentially portraits of trees, some full-length, some details of roots or trunks--each a uniquely stark, high contrast abstraction of a genteel forest through the seasons. Found in their original envelope in the libraries' archives, they had remained essentially untouched since they being purchased in July 1923. The envelope originally contained 111 photographs, bought for the sum total of 333 francs; the balance of the images featured more typical views of balustrades, statues, and terraces, and were published in a documentary volume on the park. The images reproduced here for the first time were considered too abstract to stand as proper documentation. Without a framework for understanding such an image an artwork, they almost disappeared."