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Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890 – 1950

The Cultural services of the French Embassy is pleased to announce the exhibition Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890 – 1950 at the Barnes Foundation.

This first-ever photography exhibition at the Barnes Foundation, titled after a remark by Henri Cartier-Bresson, includes over 170 photographs reflecting the spirit of France and especially Paris, at this period of profound transformation in the late 19th- to mid-20th century. Like other visual artists, progressive photographers responded to the spectacular aspects of developments that were shaping modern cities across the globe.

The work by French photographers and photographers working extensively in France, such as Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Ilse Bing, Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edgar Degas, André Kertész, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Dora Maar, and Man Ray, are presented as part of the exhibition and resonate with the core of the institution, which holds an important collection of Post-Impressionist and early modern paintings.

Drawn from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg, Live and Life Will Give You Pictures will be hung salon-style and organized thematically. Subjects include Paris and Environs, Life on the Street, Labor and Leisure, Commerce, Personality and Publicity, Reportage, and Art for Art’s Sake.

Live and Life Will Give You Pictures was organized by the Barnes Foundation in conjunction with Art2Art Circulating Exhibitions.

Various events will be presented as part of the exhibition
First Friday! on October 7
Young Professionals Night: noir et blanc on October 21
Changing Paris: Photography in the City of Light, 1839–1939 on October 25

Established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922, the Barnes Foundation holds a collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early modern paintings, with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, and Giorgio de Chirico; works by American masters Charles Demuth, William Glackens, Horace Pippin, and Maurice Prendergast; old master paintings; important examples of African sculpture; Native American ceramics, jewelry, and textiles; decorative arts and ironwork; and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. While most collections are grouped by chronology, style, or genre, art at the Barnes is arranged in ensembles structured according to light, line, color, and space—principles that Dr. Barnes called “the universal language of art.”