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Added by Lost in Space on 3 Feb 2011 11:10
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Work of a Lifetime - Photography by Albert Kahn

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The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn

Colour Photographs from a Lost Age



In 1909 the millionaire French banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn embarked on an ambitious project to create a colour photographic record of, and for, the peoples of the world. As an idealist and an internationalist, Kahn believed that he could use the new autochrome process, the world's first user-friendly, true-colour photographic system, to promote cross-cultural peace and understanding.

Kahn used his vast fortune to send a group of intrepid photographers to more than fifty countries around the world, often at crucial junctures in their history, when age-old cultures were on the brink of being changed for ever by war and the march of twentieth-century globalisation. They documented in true colour the collapse of both the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires; the last traditional Celtic villages in Ireland, just a few years before they were demolished; and the soldiers of the First World War — in the trenches, and as they cooked their meals and laundered their uniforms behind the lines. They took the earliest-known colour photographs in countries as far apart as Vietnam and Brazil, Mongolia and Norway, Benin and the United States.

At the start of 1929 Kahn was still one of the richest men in Europe. Later that year the Wall Street Crash reduced his financial empire to rubble and in 1931 he was forced to bring his project to an end. Kahn died in 1940. His legacy, still kept at the Musée Albert-Kahn in the grounds of his estate near Paris, is now considered to be the most important collection of early colour photographs in the world.

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Comments

Posted: 6 years, 9 months ago at Feb 3 15:28
Wow!!!!Great list with amazing pics!Excellent Job
Posted: 6 years, 9 months ago at Feb 26 21:27
Remarkable! I do not understand that the fact that this list only got two votes.
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago at Apr 5 13:11
Truly excellent list! Love the title.

I'd like to see Terrence Malick, Anton Corbijn or Gus Van Sant adapt the story of Kahn's life and his project into a movie someday. There's a great premise for a film in here and one of those guys might get something interesting out of it.
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago at Apr 5 13:54
@John Ethan, yes color pictures were invented in 1904 by the brothers lumiere
Albert Kahn was one of the first that used autochromes (colored photoplates)

@bob loblaw: yes indeed that would be very intresting
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago at Apr 5 14:48
Words can not express the beauty of these images.
Posted: 6 years, 7 months ago at Apr 8 1:00
great stuff!
Color photos have been around since the late 1800, early 1900s, but it was expensive and produced mixed results. Look up Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky for some early examples of the three color process which predates even Albert Kahn's color work.

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/making.html
Posted: 4 years, 10 months ago at Jan 20 22:03
Love his work, such beautiful photographs

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