This autochrome is one 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.
We spent July 15 in France — driving home across Champagne, Lorraine, and Alsace. For almost eight hours, we looked at the gorgeous wildflowers along the sides of the highways (a lot of Queen Anne’s lace) and listened to sad, reflective compositions on the classical radio station, Musique. It was the best comfort they could offer, the announcer said, for the awful news from Nice.
But for the previous three days, we had been in Normandy, where these bright hollyhocks were blooming in the little gravel courtyard of the house where we were staying.
To see the mid-July flowers of other garden bloggers, please visit Carol at May Dreams Gardens.