Monday, December 10, 2007

Next thoughts from abroad - 3 of 4

Albert Kahn BonsaiYou may have seen the BBC running a season on the Edwardians recently, the centrepiece of which has been a season of programmes showing the amazing images financed by French philanthropist Albert Kahn. The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn showed colour images and black and white moving images from the early part of the 20th Century, taken by photogrephers financed by Kahn and his plan to create the Archive of the Planet.

The Musee Albert Kahn is a delightful museum in the grounds of his former home on the outskirts of Paris (at the end of a Metro line, but only 200 yards from the Metro station), and a key feature of the museum is the garden - Les Jardins Albert Kahn - created to demonstrate harmony between different national styles, as well as to provide a perfect space for him to discuss world affairs with visiting dignitaries. There is beautiful combination of French, English and Japanese garden styles, and the museum itself has a lovely exhibition of old autochrome images as well as computer access to many of the startlingly detailed and evocative images - many of pre-WW1 Paris, for example. The entry fee was a ludicrous €1.50, surely the bargain of the year!

The museum and gardens feature in very few guide books - we've been to Paris many times in the last 6 years, and have read most of the guide books - we only found this through the TV programme spurring me to Google the museum. Truly a hidden gem - one ofParis' many small specialist museums that repay the effort of discovery manyfold.

See more pictures on my Flickr set for Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens.

ALbert Kahn Bonsai


Michael Child said...

Nice to see you back again with such amazing pictures.

ZumiWeb said...

Thanks Michael, the temptation to just refuse to get back on the Eurostar was pretty strong, but the lure of Thanet was just enough to get us home. Just. And a classic car coming next, just for you...

Eastcliff Richard said...

Yes - that series on Kahn was magnificent. The autochromes were done with dyed potato starch, I believe. I'm envious of your visit!