Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 2-Bibliotheque Nationale du France

Today we went to Notre Dame & Bibliotheque Nationale du France.

Notre Dame was very crowded but I still felt like I could make my imagination go back in time to a time when nobility actually used the space. I thought a lot about what it might have been like to be a woman during this Gothic period. I walked slowly down the center isle and I could feel the weight of her royal garments as well as the weight of the structure. The massive height and darkness of the space with the beautiful stained glass helped to set tone.

In the afternoon, a handful of us went to Bibliotheque Nationale du France to see a private collection of photographs.
All of the work was amazing to see. I have to admit that the ceremony of taking the boxes out, one at a time,  opening them up to find gold gilded books ( that were often made by the photographer for the Bibliotheque Nationale du France's collection ) and then presented them to us page by page made the images seem so much more precious. The process of the images were much more apparent to me than more contemporary works. The lush color of the prints and the texture showed their age but in a way that was truly elegant. My favorite piece was a book with the images of Eugene Atget. Those of us that knew of his work were very surprised to see photographs of interiors homes and businesses of the wealth set. Most of the more know works of Atget where his photos that were more like street photography of a less fortunate class of people.
Here is my favorite:

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