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PWT 12-2017 Mexico by Night


Mexico in the 1920s, José Vasconcelos, the SEP, and the Seccion de Dibujos

José Vasconcelos returned to Mexico at the end of Revolution, during the interim presidency of Sonoran Adolfo de la Huerta, was named rector the National Autonomous University of Mexico (1920).He began implementing his vision of the function of the university : « I have not come to govern the University but to ask the University to work for the people. »

When Álvaro Obregón became president in 1920, he created the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) in 1921 and named José Vasconcelos as its head. Under Obregón, the national budget had two key expeditures; the military was first, the second was education.

Creating the Secretariat entailed changing the Constitution of 1917, and in order to do that, Obregón’s government had to muster support from lawmakers. Vasconcelos traveled through Mexico while he was rector of the university seeking that support. The effort succeeded and Vasconcelos was named head of the new cabinet level secretariat in July 1921.

During his tenure at SEP he was in a powerful position to implement the vision of Mexico’s history, especially the Mexican Revolution.


PWT 12-2017 Mexico by Night

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Épreuve ne présentant aucune fluorescente (Poitiers, Samedi 11 Mars, lot n°16)

Agent Azurant dans le papier

Un agent azurant est une molécule qui absorbe les rayonnements ultraviolets et réémet ensuite cette énergie par fluorescence dans le visible entre le bleu-violet et le bleu-vert. Cette particularité a un intérêt lorsque l’agent est combiné à certains matériaux nécessitant ou recherchant une certaine blancheur. En effet, certaines fibres naturelles telles la cellulose ont tendance à absorber dans le bleu et ont par conséquent un aspect jaunâtre. Un agent azurant peut être ajouté afin de compléter la gamme de lumière visible et de donner ainsi un « éclat de blancheur ».

Épreuve présentant une forte fluorescence, sans ambiguité, tirée vers 1960 (Poitiers, Samedi 11 Mars, lot n°28)

Lire la suite et accéder aux résultats, Continuer la lecture de 08.03.2017 BLACK LIGHT TEST (UV) (VENTE DOISNEAU)

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The Théo Affair, France, February 2017        Weekly Cartoon by Théophile : Lynchage   The Burning of William Brown, Omaha, Nebraska, 1919 Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (René Girard)  Publishing images can result in a heavy fine or even imprisonment in France  The victimization process as the origin of cultural forms (René Girard)    The  Scapegoat Supreme by Raphaël  





PWT 09-2017 Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World

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16.02.2017 PWT 07-2017 MUNICH 1912, WHEN THE PATH BIFURCATES…



Der Blaue Reiter Almanach (The Blue Rider Almanac) was published in early 1912, by Piper, Munich, in an edition of 1100 copies. The volume was edited by Kandinsky and Marc…

In 1912, Marcel Duchamp spent three months in Munich, three months that were to radically change his art and turn him into one of the most influential artist of modernism. He is regarded as pioneer of conceptual art influencing numerous artists from Sol LeWitt to Ai Weiwei and still today continuously inspires new generations of artists…

When Guillaume Apollinaire asked for a photograph for his book “Les peintres cubistes”, a flattered Duchamp went round the corner to Heinrich Hoffmann’s photo studio (380 meters)…

Hitler painted his first self-portrait in 1910 at the age of 21. Samuel Morgenstern, an Austrian businessman and a business partner of the young Hitler in his Vienna period, bought many of the young Hitler’s paintings. According to Morgenstern, Hitler came to him for the first time in the beginning of the 1910s, either in 1911 or in 1912. When Hitler came to Morgenstern’s glazier store for the first time, he offered Morgenstern three of his paintings. Morgenstern kept a database of his clientele, through which it had been possible to locate the buyers of young Hitler’s paintings…

Although Goebbels and some others admired the Expressionist works of artists such as Emil Nolde, Ernst Barlach, and Erich Heckel, a faction led by Alfred Rosenberg despised the Expressionists, and the result was a bitter ideological dispute which was settled only in September 1934, when Hitler—who denounced modern art and its practitioners as « incompetents, cheats and madmen »— declared that there would be no place for modernist experimentation in the Reich… Hitler often blamed the Jewish-Bolshevist community for such and that they needed to be eliminated, even though there were only six Jewish artists out of the 112 included in the exhibit…


PWT 07-2017 Der Blaue Reiter



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09.02.2017 PWT 06-2017. Actuality of 1839 Ideas : The Right to Work (Le Droit au travail


1839 AD was not only the year of the proclamation in France of the invention of photography by François Arago but also the proclamation of the Right to Work by Louis Blanc in his Revue du Progrès. Arago and Blanc will become two leaders of the February 1848 Revolution and two Members of the Cabinet, when Blanc brother will become Head of Culture and Art administration.


PWT 06-2017 The Right to Work



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02.02.2017 PWT 05-2017 Rendez vous avec Doisneau à Poitiers le samedi 11 mars 2017

Les épreuves de Robert Doisneau présentées ici sont toutes des épreuves argentiques de l’après-guerre. Hormis les lots 1 et 2 qui correspondent à des clichés de 1932 et 1934, tous sont tirés à l’époque de leur négatif, ce que les Américains et les collectionneurs désignent comme vintage prints. Les formats des tirages sont ceux usités par Doisneau entre 1946 et 1965, le format “18×24” soit 180×240 mm ou 240×180 mm et le “24×30” c’est-à-dire 240×300 mm. La plupart des épreuves sont tamponnées en rouge ou en violet et numérotées au verso au crayon par l’artiste selon son système très personnel de classement de ses négatifs. Elles proviennent directement de deux personnes qui l’ont cotoyé dans les années 1950.

Un tel ensemble aussi homogène surgit rarement. Les épreuves sont présentées dans l’ordre chronologique des prises de vues.

Catalogue Doisneau Poitiers

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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 :

Continuer la lecture de 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… »

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