Parc de Bagatelle, Paris

A re-post from 2013. . .
Bagatelle/enclos*ure Strolling in Bagatelle Park, Paris, France, ca. 1920, a hand-colored glass lantern slide by an unknown photographer, via Archives of American Gardens, Garden Club of America Collection, Smithsonian Institution (used here by permission).

(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

The park has been a botanical garden inside the Bois de Boulogne since 1905. Today, it’s best known for its over 9,000 rose bushes. The land was originally laid out in 1777 in a fashionable Anglo-Chinois style as a garden for the Chateau de Bagatelle — built by the Count of Artois in only 64 days as part of a bet with Marie Antoinette.

Another well-dressed lady in the same garden, also ca. 1920, an autochrome by an unknown photographer, via Photographic Heritage on flickr (under CC license).

The Archives of American Gardens (top image) holds over 60,000 photos and records documenting 6,300 historic and contemporary American gardens.  At its core are almost 3,000 hand-colored glass lantern and 35mm slides donated by the Garden Club of America, which is the source of this image.

San Francisco, California

Palace of Horticulture, Panama-Pacific International Exhibition, San Francisco, California, 1915, an autochrome by an unknown photographer, via George Eastman Museum Commons on flickr.

The Exhibition was open from February to December 1915 and celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914. It also showcased the city’s recovery from the devastating 1906 earthquake. Its palaces and halls were built on a 635-acre site along the city’s northern shore, between the Presidio and Fort Mason.

“Constructed from temporary materials (primarily staff, a combination of plaster and burlap fiber), almost all the fair’s various buildings and attractions were pulled down in late 1915,” according to Wikipedia.

St. James’s Palace

Another garden scene from my day of walking around London last week. . .

This meadow-style planting is outside the walls of St. James’s Palace, along The Mall. The strip of ground outside the walls around Buckingham Palace (at least on the north side) is planted in the same way.

In addition to Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), there were some very dark red-purple tulips and pale blue Camassia.

Looking back toward Buckingham Palace.

Place du Carrousel

Arrangement of tulips in the Tuileries Garden, Paris, May 8, 1925, by Auguste Léon, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

These autochromes were taken at the Place du Carrousel, looking south to the Seine River. Today, there is a road and a roundabout (with a skylight for the underground shopping mall below) on this spot, which is just west of where I.M.Pei’s Pyramide du Louvre now stands.

It is also where Emmanuel Macron and his supporters celebrated his victory in the French presidential election runoff last night.

Looking southwest.

Today is La Fête de la Victoire in France. The public holiday commemorates the date of Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies in 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

The images above are four 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.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photos (A 45 252, A 45 253, A 45 255 S, A 45 257) are © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.