Boulevard de Strasbourg, Corsets, Paris

Eugène Atget (French, Libourne 1857–1927 Paris)
Gelatin silver print from glass negative
Image: 22.4 x 17.5 cm (8 13/16 x 6 7/8 in.)
Mount: 36.7 x 28.7 cm (14 7/16 x 11 5/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
Atget found his vocation in photography in 1897, at the age of forty, after having been a merchant seaman, a minor actor, and a painter. He became obsessed with making what he termed "documents for artists" of Paris and its environs and compiling a visual compendium of the architecture, landscape, and artifacts that distinguish French culture and history. By the end of his life, Atget had amassed an archive of more than eight thousand negatives, which he organized into such categories as Parisian Interiors, Vehicles in Paris, and Petits Métiers (trades and professions).
In Atget's inventory of Paris, shop windows figure prominently and the most arresting feature mannequin displays. In the 1920s the Surrealists recognized in Atget a kindred spirit and reproduced a number of his photographs in their journals and reviews. Antiquated mannequins such as the ones depicted here struck them as haunting, dreamlike analogues to the human form.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, verso TC: "Bd. du Strasbourg // 379"; stamped in purple ink on mount, verso C: "PHOTO E. ATGET // COLLECTION BERENICE ABBOTT // 1 W. 67th ST. // COPYRIGHT"
Eugène Atget; [...]; [Helios Arts Inc., New York; December 22, 1977]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York

Brooklyn Museum. "Photographic Surrealism," May 17, 1980–July 13, 1980.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Times: Photography Between the Two World Wars," June 9, 1998–October 4, 1998.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ""Our Future Is In The Air": Photographs from the 1910s," November 10, 2010–April 10, 2011.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s – 1930s," January 27, 2014–May 4, 2014.

Abbott, Berenice. Eugène Atget / Berenice Abbottovà. Prague: Státní nakl. krásné literatury, hudby a umení, 1963. p. 31.

Trottenberg, Arthur, ed. A Vision of Paris: The Photographs of Eugene Atget, The Words of Marcel Proust. New York: MacMillan, 1980. p. 49.

Atget Paris. Paris: Hazan, 1992. p. 586.

Eugène Atget, 1857-1927: Paris. Cologne, 2000. p. 185.

Eugène Atget. London: Phaidon Press, 2001. p. 65.

Paris as gameboard: Man Ray's Atgets. New York: Columbia University, 2002. pl. 36.

Looking at Atget. Philadelphia: Yale University Press, 2005. p. 55.

Tf. Editores, ed. Eugène Atget: old Paris. Madrid: Fundación MAPFRE, 2011. p. 287.