© Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1932, Christian Bérard (“Bébé”), First Hotel, Paris

In addition to the remarkable street photographs he made across Europe with a 35mm camera in the early 1930s, Cartier-Bresson made candid portraits of friends and acquaintances, such as this picture of the disheveled neo-Romantic painter and designer for the theater swaddled in bedcovers and lying next to his valise-the idea of sleep and dreams as the artist’s field of research and font of inspiration that recalls the sign that André Breton hung outside his bedroom each night: "Quiet Please. Poet at Work." (+)

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After 18 days, 4000 kilometres (about 2500 miles) in my car, wearing flip flops, 200 kilometres of walking, also in my flip flops, travelling through Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Northern Italy & Toscany and the most beautiful parts of Austria I arrived safe back home yesterday night. In my flip flops, of course…

More stories about the trip soon!

#1: © Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1933, Italy
#2: © Wilhelm Tobien, 1932, Boats on the shore of Palermo, Sicily


In 1971, Sheila Turner-Seed interviewed Henri Cartier-Bresson in his Paris studio for a film-strip series on photographers that she produced, with Cornell Capa, for Scholastic. After her death in 1979 at the age of 42, that interview, along with others she had conducted, sat like a time capsule in the archives of the International Center of Photography in New York.

That is, until 2011, when Ms. Turner-Seed’s daughter, Rachel Seed, learned of their existence and went to I.C.P. to study the tapes. It was a profound experience for her, since she was 1 when her mother died and did not remember her voice.

Ms. Seed, herself a photographer, has been working on a personal documentary, “A Photographic Memory,” about a daughter’s search for the mother she never knew through their shared love of photography. She is raising money with a Kickstarter campaign. (read more here & here)

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The Packet

Three photographs. No real connection. Welcome to senseless/nameless sets. (+)

“If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself.” ― Charles M. Schulz

#1: Sergio Larrain, 1959, London
#2: Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1953, In front of the Hofburg Palace, Vienna
#3: Elliott Erwitt, 1949, New York City

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Happy International Bike Day!

Rouleur devoted 24 pages to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photo essay from the Vélodrome d’Hiver. To describe Rouleur as a cycling magazine denies the breadth and depth of the content and scope of the magazine. Launched six years ago and since published eight times a year, Rouleur also produces books and photography annuals, focusing on the drama of the sport rather than race reports or reviews of bike products.

With an emphasis on high-quality design and reproduction, Rouleur adopts a reportage approach, and its pages are filled with multi-page photo essays and interviews. Photography is given pride of place throughout.

In Rouleur’s issue 34, it has dedicated 24 pages to photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson taken in 1957 at the Vélodrome d’Hiver in Paris. The images are shown without captions, sometimes spread across two pages. Interestingly, the photographs include images of the crowd as well as the riders themselves. Amongst the unposed portraits, a cyclist is shown reading a newspaper, cyclists are seen resting post-race and being attended to by a trainer. (read more on BJoP)

PHOTOS: © Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1957, Vélodrome d’Hiver, Paris

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Until today Magnum stands for documentary photography of the highest standard. Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour (Chim) founded the legendary photo agency in 1947, with the aim to work independently in a motivated cooperative of likeminded photographers - as reporters, commentators and poets with a camera. The decisive moment and Human Interest became the central paradigms of this group.

The exhibition In our time" (at Galerie WestLicht, Vienna) opens a time window to the first forty years of Magnum with photographs of the five initiators and fifty other members, such as Werner Bischof, Ernst Haas, Erich Lessing, Eve Arnold, Marc Riboud, Elliott Erwitt, Inge Morath, René Burri, Bruce Davidson, Constantine Manos, Burk Uzzle, Hiroji Kubota, Bruno Barbey, Josef Koudelka, Gilles Peress, Mary Ellen Mark, Susan Meiselas, Raymond Depardon and Sebastião Salgado.

The photographs present strong contrasts, ranging from classic black and white reportage to abstract plays of colour that became icons of collective visual memory. The 145 large format prints were produced during the late 1980s for an exhibition carrying the same name and later got into private ownership. WestLicht managed to acquire this spectacular convolute and present it for the first time in Austria.

Exhibition dates:
Dec. 07, 2012 - Feb. 10, 2013

#1: © René Burri, Che Guevara, Havana 1963
#2: © Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sport in a refugee camp, Kurukshetra, Punjab 1948
#3: © Marc Riboud, Peace march, Washington D.C. 1967
#4: © René Burri, Fête Forain, Zurich 1980

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© Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1968, Rue de Vaugirard

Wall inscription: "Jouissez sans entraves." ("Pleasure without limits.")

Yesterday ARTE was airing the documentary “Le siècle de Cartier-Bresson" directed by Pierre Assouline, author of a biography of Cartier-Bresson. The film covers some of the 20th century’s greatest moments in photography, commented by the photographer himself, who opened his archives to Assouline fto use in the film. Many of the photographs have rarely been seen or published.

© Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1948, Gandhi dictates a message, just before breaking his fast


The photographs above and below are part of the exhibition “Eye on Gandhi" at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway.

Mohandas Karamchand ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi’s non-violence philosophy and work made him one of history’s strongest symbols of peace. Despite the fact that he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize several times, he was never awarded the prize. In a unique exhibition India and Gandhi are captured through the camera lens of legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Cartier-Bresson met Gandhi the same day he was shot, and documented India in grief after the spiritual leader’s death.

Photographs, films, texts and interactive installations give the audience a chance to know the man who has been a great inspiration to several Peace Prize laureates. A short film produced for the exhibition highlights why Gandhi never was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
(read more: +, +)

The exhibition is presented in cooperation with Magnum Photos.

Exhibition dates:
Sep. 21, 2012 – Feb. 17, 2013


  Unknown photographer, ca. 1948, Some of Gandhi’s few worldly possessions

Some of the items on above photo went up for auction in New York in on  March 5, 2009, despite direct appeals from the Indian government and a last-minute stay from an Indian court. The items were sold for $1.8 million to Vijay Mallya, an Indian liquor and airline executive who owns the company that makes Kingfisher beer.

"When people have money, they can buy these items even if their views are different or opposite (to Gandhi). The last time this happened, it was Mallya who bought such items, even though his views on prohibition are completely opposite of what Gandhi thought," said Chunnilal Vaidya, one of Gandhi’s followers.

"Even his business is based on the same (liquor). If he took some money out of that to buy something that belonged to Gandhi, it was not to spread his message, but to satisfy his ego," he added.

Vaidya further said that such articles were perishable, and would lose their importance with time, while Mahatma Gandhi’s message was a greater legacy.

"These items are perishable. If this money were spent to spread the message and to fulfill the vision that made Gandhi the man he was, then that would have been more appropriate. What happened was that money went from one pocket to another, nothing else changed," he said. (Apr. 18, 2012; source)

A representative for Mr. Mallya, Tony Bedhi, did the bidding and later announced that the belongings would be returned to India for public display, but it was not clear whether they would be turned over to the government, as some officials have demanded. I could not find any evidence if these items are really on public display at the moment (well, at least photographs of them are…) - if you have information on that please let me know.
(read more: +, +, +, +)

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