The photographer and ethnologist Jean Besancenot, born in 1902, studied painting and French regional dress at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 1934, on a trip to Morocco, he became enthralled with the country’s traditional dress, and walked the streets photographing extravagant costumes and jewelry. Besancenot returned in 1935 for a two-year stay in which he documented the many traditions he encountered. In particular, he traveled to the south, where Jewish communities mingled with members of the Muslim Berber population. Besancenot’s photographs of the daily and ceremonial dress of these rural Jewish communities, which no longer exist, are a precious record of these people. —E.C.
Museum of the Art and History of Judaism Hôtel de Saint-Aignan, 71 Rue du Temple, 75003 Paris, France Get Directions »