Vintage landscape: quai d’Auteuil

Jardins potagers, quai d'Auteuil (actuel quai Louis-Blériot), Paris (XVIe arr.), France, 30 mai 1928, (Autochrome, 9 x 12 cm), Auguste Léon, Département des Hauts-de-Seine, musée Albert-Kahn, Archives de la Planète, A 54 766The little vegetable gardens near pont Mirabeau, behind quai d’Auteuil (now quai Louis-Blériot), Paris,  on May 30, 1928, by Auguste Léon, via Collection Archives of the Planet – Albert Kahn Museum/Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

The Auteuil wharf or quai, next to the Seine River, was situated at the top of the sandy-looking embankment on the right side above (also see here, third photo).  Then there was a drop down to the gardens, and, on the left, Avenue de Versailles was at the top of the wall (I think). In the distance, you can see the Eiffel Tower and before it, a little to the right, the small Paris replica of the Statue of Liberty at the southwest end of the Île aux Cygnes.

There’s another view here (the 15th photo down). The area was filled in and covered by the highway Voie George Pompidou and modern apartment buildings in the 1960s.

This lovely autochrome is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived from 1909 to 1931 by French banker and pacifist Albert Kahn. He sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to 50 countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”*  The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. The above photo (A 54766) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

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