These autochromes are three of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty 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.
The Library of Congress labels this photo “Agriculture Department Dahlia Show,” 1911, but I’m sure it’s from the USDA’s annual Chrysanthemum show, which was held in one of the Department’s greenhouses in Washington, D.C.
The first of the annual exhibitions opened in October of 1902. I haven’t been able to find out anything more about them, but they were still being held in 1937.
All the photos here are by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
My advice to the women of America is to raise more hell and fewer dahlias.