Proust's Paris: Photographs from the Collections of the Harvard Art Museums
Sandra Naddaff and Leigh Hafrey Three Columns Gallery, Mather House, April 1 - 22, 2013
Curator: Akili Tommasino (PhD Candidate, History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University)
From scholars to artists, Proust's readers have noted the abundance of photographic imagery in his oeuvre. Photography appears as both a motif and a model of perception upon which Proust bases his writing. It is well documented that the author was as avid a collector of photographs as he was obsessed with the frequency and manner in which he was photographed.
In the second volume of In Search of Lost Time, Proust, through the voice of Charlus, opines that, “Photographs, once they cease to be a reproduction of reality and show us things which no longer exist, acquire a certain dignity.” This selection of photographs has been made in the spirit of recapturing a time now lost. Featuring the work of photographers active in Paris during the last decade of the nineteenth century and early decades of the twentieth, from the rich holdings of the Harvard Art Museums, this online gallery and a special exhibition of digital reprints at Mather House present a snapshot of Proust’s Paris.
Above: Alfred Stieglitz, A Wet Day On The Boulevard - Paris, 1897 (detail). Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Richard and Ronay Menschel Fund for the Acquisition of Photographs, 2010.538.3.