The world’s first photograph was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. His primitive camera was received with excitement, and was envisioned as a tool for education. A proponent of the avant-garde, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs was one of the first major museums to acknowledge and support the new medium of photography. The Musée’s earliest incarnation was founded in 1864, and in 1883 a photographic laboratory was installed on its grounds. Since then, the Musée has amassed a splendid and staggering collection of 350,000 photographs. This exhibition presents 400 original prints from that collection, works from 1840 to the present day. Artists on view include Eugène Atget, Madame D’Ora, Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, Robert Doisneau, and David Seidner. —E.C.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France Get Directions »