Beautiful book…

arch-of-planet.jpgOn this Earth Day eve, check out “The dawn of the color photograph: Albert Kahn’s archives of the planet” by David Okuefuna.

From Booklist: “In 1907 the Lumiere brothers, who wowed Paris with its first commercially shown movies in the 1890s, demonstrated the autochrome photographic process, with which color photos could be taken by a glass-plate camera. The banker Albert Kahn embraced it and the next year launched a project that would continue until the Great Depression bankrupted him. Kahn felt that if the world’s people could see one another, animosity based on stereotypes would be dispelled and world peace realized. He dispatched opérateurs, some female, with autochrome plates and movie film to capture how the Other looked and lived for a maximally public archive. It was the dream of, Musée Albert-Kahn’s director Gilles Baud-Berthier says, a man of the nineteenth century, perhaps even the eighteenth—but not the twentieth. So much for outdated idealism. But just look at the pictures, full of the fascination of all old photodocumentation, heightened by color more sensual than later color processes deliver. Accompanied by a nontechnical text and complementing a BBC-TV series, this is a world-history buff’s delight” (Ray Olson).

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