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12.01.2017 PWT 02-2017 Family of Man : Twenty-Four Citizens Under Suspicion


PWT 02-2017 Twenty-Four Citizen under Suspicion


NBCI to FBI: Roosevelt – Bonaparte – Hoover

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, which simultaneously serves as the nation’s prime federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI is concurrently a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Although many of the FBI’s functions are unique, its activities in support of national security are comparable to those of the British MI5 and the Russian FSB. The FBI is primarily a domestic agency, maintaining 56 field offices in major cities throughout the United States, and more than 400 resident agencies in lesser cities and areas across the nation.

Background. In 1896, the National Bureau of Criminal Identification was founded, which provided agencies across the country with information to identify known criminals.

The 1901 assassination of President McKinley created an urgent perception that America was under threat from anarchists. The Department of Justice and the Department of Labor had been keeping records on anarchists for years, but President Theodore Roosevelt wanted more power to monitor them. The Justice Department had been tasked with regulating interstate commerce since 1887. It had made little effort to relieve its staff shortage until the Oregon land fraud scandal erupted around the start of the 20th century. President Roosevelt instructed Attorney General Charles Bonaparte to create an autonomous investigative service that would report only to the Attorney General. Bonaparte reached out to other agencies, including the Secret Service, for personnel, investigators in particular.

On May 27, 1908, Congress forbade this use of Treasury employees by the Justice Department, citing fears that the new agency would serve as a secret police. Again at Roosevelt’s urging, Bonaparte moved to organize a formal Bureau of Investigation with its own staff of special agents. The Bureau Of Investigation was created on July 26, 1908 — after Congress had adjourned for the summer. Attorney General Bonaparte hired thirty-four people, including some veterans of the Secret Service,  to work for a new investigative agency. Its first chief was Stanley Finch. Bonaparte notified Congress of these actions in December 1908. The bureau’s first official task was visiting and making surveys of the houses of prostitution.

In 1932, the BOI was linked to the Bureau of Prohibition and rechristened the Division Of Investigation (DOI) before finally becoming an independent service within the Department of Justice in 1935. In the same year, its name was officially changed from the Division of Investigation to the present-day Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI. J. Edgar Hoover served as Director from 1924 to 1972, a combined 48 years with the BOI, DOI, and FBI.

Dorothy P., Charged with Truckdriver Connors of Murder of Brakeman Templeton, July 1926.

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05.01.2017 PWT 01-2017 Looking at Vintage Photographs : A Visual Training


PWT 01-2017 Seven Short Queries


Looking at organic vintage photographs, a visual exercise

Next week will resume the vintage photographs analysis training cycle at Drouot Art School*, this transmission is dedicated to the students and follow the workshop programm :

A group of vintage photographs — documentary, artistic or historical — are proposed to look at, with a reduced system of questions to answer within minuts, mainly : where and when was it created ? which traces, signature or stamps can we consider for a further investigation ? Then together we discuss the answers and we try to identify the auther and his intentions, Who did What and Why ?. In a third step when we think we have enough elements or pieces of evidence, we will discuss the scientific and commercial values, the actual market value, the estimation.

7SQ – Seven Short Queries

7SQ follow the famous “Five Ws” (Who did What, Where and When, and Why ?), and the “Five Ws and one H”, which are often mentioned in journalism, research, and police investigations. A standard series of questions has been a way of formulating or analyzing rhetorical questions since classical antiquity*. The « Five Ws and one H” were memorialized by Rudyard Kipling in his poem accompanying the tale of « The Elephant’s Child »:

“I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.”

The Seven Short Queries when looking at vintage photographs are :

— Who could be the author ?

— What could be a title ?

— Where was it created ?

— When was it printed ?

— Which process was used ?

— How large ? (dimensions usually given in mm, height before length)

— Why ? Can we investigate his intentions ? (stamps, signatures, captions, traces)

Then, if we can answer the 7SQ, an estimation or a price as a result :

— How Much could it worth ?

Proposed answers to the seven short queries for the seven prints will be found, under the reproduction of the versos, after pages 1-7, pages V-1 to V-7.

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05.01.2017 7SQ – Sept Simples Questions

La semaine prochaine reprendra le cycle de formation sur l’analyse des photographies anciennes à l’école d’art Drouot *, cette transmission est dédiée aux étudiants et suit le programme des travaux dirigés.

Cette méthode de description est directement inspirée d’un concept fort ancien* notamment utilisé en journalisme. En anglais, cette méthode est abrégée en « Five W’s », «who did what, where and when, and why» c’est-à-dire : «qui a fait quoi, où, quand et pourquoi ?». Les « Five W’s » ou « règles fondamentales du reportage » sont particulièrement utilisés en agence de presse, qui exige que les réponses aux cinq questions soient données dès le début de la dépêche, ce qui permet un découpage de l’information par priorité. cette méthode oblige l’analyste à faire un choix.

Les sept simples questions face à une épreuve photographique historique ou ancienne sont

— Qui pourrait en être l’auteur ? (identification ou école)

— Quel titre pourrait être attribué ? (Le titre original, s’il est connu, en italique et en VO)

— Où la photographie a-t-elle été conçue ?

— Quand l’épreuve a-t-elle été tirée ?

— Comment a-t-elle été développée ? (procédé photographique)

— Dans quelles dimensions ? (généralement en mm, hauteur avant largeur)

— Pourquoi, dans quelle intention ? (tampons, signatures, inscriptions, traces, indices)

Si l’on peut achever le raisonnement et répondre, alors on peut essayer de résumer :

— Combien vaut-elle ?

Des éléments de réponses à ces sept simples questions se trouvent sous la reproduction du verso de chaque épreuve après les pages 1-7, pages V-1 à V-7.



*En latin : «Quis, Quid, Ubi, Quibus auxiliis, Cur, Quomodo, Quando» qui sont les 7 questions qui définissent les « circonstances » d’une situation («circum-stare», se tenir autour). On cite comme origine possible  les «circonstances» définies par le rhéteur grec Hermagoras de Temnos et transmises par saint Augustin : Quis, quid, quando, ubi, cur, quem ad modum, quibus adminiculis.

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15.12.2016 PWT 50-2016 Mario Giacomelli, The Man Who Would Go to the Moon with His Photographs

PWT 50-2016 Colors of Giacomelli

“Photography… can be a witness of our passage on earth”, and even of our passage on the Moon.

Mario Giacomelli’s works in photography are a nightmare for accountants and speculators. Or, it is more correct to say they are an obstacle to the precise and narrow definitions of copyright and editions, as our European bureaucraties try to impose.

Mario signed photos of Africa, he never went to Africa. he signed photos os Tibet. He never went to Tibet.

He is famous for Aerial views of the fields around Senigallia, he never went on a plane.

His galerist from Milan send him perfect silver prints from the best photographic laboratory, hoping Mario will sign and number them. Mario publicly destroy them. And follow on printing his own prints in his bathroom with his friend the postman from Senigallia.

How can this be tolarated any more in a World of strict regulations on pianoforte ivories, dinosaurs eggs, Arabian antiquities and authorized posthumous numbered and even signed photographs ?

Maybe just to consider Mario Giacomelli as an artist and not any more as a photographer, a dangerous regulated profession. And maybe not to consider his pictures as photographs, but rather as drawings, or just pages from a notebook.

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14.12.2016 Hommage a Gabriel Aurier, natif de Châteauroux, pour le 125e anniversaire de sa définition de l’art.

Gabriel Aurier (1865-1892) donna une définition de l’art considérée comme symboliste dans un article du Mercure de France de 1891 :

« L’œuvre d’art devra être

— premièrement idéiste, puisque son idéal unique sera l’expression de l’idée,

— deuxièmement symboliste puisqu’elle exprimera cette idée en forme,

— troisièmement synthétique puisqu’elle écrira ses formes, ses signes selon un mode de compréhension général,

— quatrièmement subjective puisque l’objet n’y sera jamais considéré en tant qu’objet mais en tant que signe perçu par le sujet,

— cinquièmement l’œuvre d’art devra être décorative. »

Il est aussi l’auteur, sous la signature Albert Aurier du premier article publié (de son vivant) sur Vincent Van Gogh.


Et voilà que, tout à coup, dès là rentrée dans l’ignoble tohubohu boueux de la rue sale et de la laide vie réelle, éparpillées, chantèrent, malgré moi, ces bribes de vers en ma mémoire :

Continue reading 14.12.2016 Hommage a Gabriel Aurier, natif de Châteauroux, pour le 125e anniversaire de sa définition de l’art.

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06.12.2016 Radio d’état. Le Droit à une parole différente : « J’ai l’impression que les gens qui dirigent le Ministère des Affaires Etrangères n’ont pas de vision sur le long terme » (Alexandre Romanès)

« Moi président, je mettrai un terme aux opérations de guerre de la France »

Alexandre Romanes s’inquiète de la situation de la France, et s’indigne du traitement des immigrés même s’il le reconnaît le problème est difficile. « Laisser des gens vivre sous les bombes et les laisser se noyer dans la méditerranée est épouvantable, mais comment dire aux 15 millions de personnes pauvres en France que l’on va accueillir des gens encore plus pauvres qu’eux. »

Alexandre Romanes a peut être la solution déclare-t-il : « Que la France arrête de faire la guerre. J’ai l’impression que les gens qui dirigent le Ministère des Affaires Etrangères n’ont pas de vision sur le long terme. Ces guerres ne font qu’entrainer d’autres guerres… »

Cliquer pour accéder au podcast de France Info :

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Article du Grand Larousse du XIXe siècle: FLOURENS (Gustave), patriote français, révolutionnaire et réformateur, né à Paris le 4 août 1838, tué à Rueil, d’un coup de sabre, le 3 avril 1871.


FLOURENS (Gustave), patriote français, révolutionnaire et réformateur, né à Paris le 4 août 1838, tué à Rueil, d’un coup de sabre, le 3 avril 1871. II fit au collège Louis- le-Grand de brillantes études, qu’il couronna d’une façon digne du grand nom qu’il portait, en obtenant, à quelques mois de distance, le double diplôme de licencié es lettres et de licencié ès sciences. Il n’avait pas encore atteint sa vingt-unième année.

Continue reading Article du Grand Larousse du XIXe siècle: FLOURENS (Gustave), patriote français, révolutionnaire et réformateur, né à Paris le 4 août 1838, tué à Rueil, d’un coup de sabre, le 3 avril 1871.

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01.12.2016 PWT 48-2016 2016 SAIGON IN THE 1960s: Nguyễn-Xuân-Dũng’s Portraits

Hội Nhiếp ảnh Việt-Mỹ hoạt động được từ 1961 tới 1975, đào tạo được khoảng mười nghìn học viên, trong đó có một số khoảng 50 người thành đạt nhiều hoặc ít, về khía cạnh này hoặc nọ… trong ngành nhiếp ảnh…




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17.11.2016 Discussion on the Authentification of 1 of 65 Vincent Van Gogh Drawings

On Thursday 17 November 2016 was published by Seuil a book  called « Le Brouillard d’Arles », edited by Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov.

At the same moment, the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum released a negative statement on the authentification.

Without any doubt, this scientific discussion is, whatever will be the conclusion, an inspiration for scholarship.

We compare one point which could become pieces of disproving/supporting evidence :

The Pont Langlois, (first drawing, Pont-X).

The Amsterdam Museum proposes an argument : « The house is on the wrong side of the canal ».


The actual Pont Van Gogh bridge in Arles, (Point Kilometrique 2.470 on the « Arles to Bouc » Canal) is a reconstitution, the historic Pont de Langlois was in another location (Road D35 crossing, Point Kilometrique 0.520 on the « Arles to Bouc » Canal, destroyed in 1930, rebuilt in cement, le pont de Réginel , itself bombed down by German troops in August 1944).


Pont Réginel succeeded Pont de Langlois, Arles, 1932.

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17.11.2016 PWT 46-2016 Un bois gravé du Magasin pittoresque, 1839-1892 ou la lente conquête de la presse illustrée



Le Magasin Pittoresque (à l’origine du mot magazine) parut la première fois en janvier 1833 sous la forme d’un fascicule de huit pages, illustré de gravures sur bois, vendu deux sous.

Il parut chaque semaine pendant dix-huit ans jusqu’à la loi fiscale du 16 juillet 1850 qui taxait trop lourdement les publications vendues 10 centimes. Pour survivre, le Magasin pittoresque devint mensuel, puis parut ensuite deux fois par mois.

Le Magasin pittoresque était une publigation de vulgarisation encyclopédique et populaire présentant les découvertes modernes, tout en s’attachant à restituer le passé. Le substantif Magasin avait été choisi pour indiquer que le recueil contenait tous les sujets de nature à enrichir de distractions pures et instructives les loisirs du foyer domestique.

On avait déjà trouvé à Paris de la Terreur à la Restauration un Magasin encyclopédique (de 1792 à 1816), puis à Londres à partir de 1832 un Penny Magazine qui inspira le créateur du Magasin Pittoresque. Édouard Charton en conçut l’idée en 1833, recruta les rédacteurs, presque tous d’anciens élèves des grandes écoles révolutionnaires…

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10.11.2016 Thursday 10 November 6 pm Drouot Paris : Binoche et Giquello Photographies anciennes et Modernes / Complements, Corrections and Notes


We received some comments and suggestions from diffrent amateurs, so please find here the list of lots with complements or corrections :

3, 12, 29, 32, 34, 48, 52, 53, 80, 81, 109, 110, 116, 120, 125, 138

Lot 3 did not come

Lot 12, the negative  represents also the right bank

Lot 29 is not anymore attributed to Caneva. It is only a different view from Caneva’s « Aniene and Ponte Nomentano » composition. A connoisseur suggested it should be attributed to Eugène Le Dien (similar dimensions, paper and tonality). The print was exhibited in Chicago in 1980.

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27.10.2016 A Quick Review of the Daguerreian Week New York City


The Annual Daguerreian Society Conference itself begun with tours on Wednesday, Oct. 19th and a Grand Reception on Thursday night, Oct. 20th.There was a separate pre-conference symposium on « How the 19th-century Is the Basis for All Subsequent Photographic Art » on Thursday.The full-day conference speakers’ program on 19th-century photography itself took place on Friday, Oct. 21st, and kicked off with a keynote speech by Jeffrey Rosenheim of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.The Society’s Annual Business Meeting was scheduled for immediately after the sessions.There were also several gallery receptions on Friday evening at both Hans Kraus, Jr. Gallery and Howard Greenberg Gallery.Following The 19th-Century Photography Show and on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 22nd, the Society had its annual cocktail party and banquet, followed by the Society’s live charity auction.

Video Lyes Hammadouche, October 2016 :

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