A deep dive into the pioneering collection of nineteenth-century French photographs, equipment, and ephemera, which is a cornerstone of the George Eastman Museum
In the early twentieth century, Parisian photographer, amateur historian, and collector Gabriel Cromer (1873–1934) amassed a collection that traced photography’s prehistory, invention, and development to about 1890. His dream was to found a national museum of the photographic arts in France. Although Cromer’s ambition was never realized, his collection was central to establishing the world’s first museum dedicated to photography: the George Eastman Museum. The Cromer Collection of Nineteenth-Century French Photography considers the origin and circulation of the collection as well as the influence it has had on photography as a field of study. The book’s six essays, written by French and American scholars, explore the Cromer Collection’s complex passage across markets, borders, and functions. For more than half a century, curators and scholars worldwide have drawn extensively on the Gabriel Cromer Collection for exhibitions and publications; this book provides the first focused scholarly study of the foundational resource.
Published in association with the George Eastman Museum
Sylvie Aubenas is chief curator of the Department of Prints and Photographs at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
“A sumptuously illustrated hard-cover tome of such import that it seems long overdue. It illuminates the ways in which Cromer’s personal vision has shaped our studies of 19th-century photography in both France and the United States, with contributions from six scholars from both sides of the Atlantic.”—The Classic
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