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08.06.2017 PWT 23-2017: Young Nichols was sent to Dakota Territories to draw sketches « en plein air « 


Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century, working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school, Hudson River School, and Impressionists.
The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1840s with the introduction of paints in tubes (like those for toothpaste).
Young Nichols was sent on trip to Dakota Territories by Century Magazine during Fall of 1886 to draw sketches en plein air of the Sioux tribes.

Harley DeWitt Nichols (1859-1939)

Born in the small rural Wisconsin town of Barton, Harley lived a peripatetic life. As a young child, he accompanied his family to Lincoln, Nebraska where he found great excitement in the roaming herds of buffalo and Native Americans. It was in these years that a talent for drawing was discovered.
In 1870, after several years of hardship, his father moved the family back to Wisconsin and at the age of 11 Harley became a water boy for the railroad line being built from Milwaukee to his birthplace of Barton.  When his family moved next to the First Ward in Milwaukee, he remained with his grandparents in Barton paying board despite his meager earnings.
Eventually he moved to join his family and began school at the First Ward schoolhouse. At this time he was employed by a “third class” wood engraver. That led to an apprenticeship with the Milwaukee firm Marr & Richards, where he worked for three years drawing on wood. This would have led to a position as an engraver, but during his apprenticeship Nichols realized that drawing, rather than engraving, was where his true talent lay…


PWT 23-2017 Dakota Sketchbook

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Mirjam and Willi were two young Swiss students from Basel Neighborhood who traveled Europe just after the end of the war, studying architecture, listening to Le Corbusier in Paris and participating to the Reconstruction Era. After the tragic death of Willi Menzi, circa 1954, Mirjam Schwarz interupted her drawing diaries. She married later architect Gorges Kinzel (1916-2000), the generous and altruist couple gave most of their collections and assets to Basel Kunstmuseum.

PWT 22-2017 Gray on Gray. Un Nuage s’est pendu


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25.05.2017 PWT 21-2017 CHANGING PLACES: SAN FRANCISCO 1877

1876, Three Mexican candidates run for presidency in the elections without gaining majority. In the turmoil which succeeds, Porfirio Diaz takes the power, and the two unfortunate competitors, Lerdo de Tejada and José María Iglesias, sail in exile to the United States

After a few weeks in power in November 1876, José Maria Iglesias went to San Francisco in January 1877with a group of Mexican Politicians who where members of his “shadow” cabinet, including Guillermo Prieto who published a relation of the USA trip. Thanks to this lively travel book, no less than 1500 pages of anecdots on hotel, food, women, theaters, we have an evocation of the United States in the very first years of the Cantral Pacific railroad making easy to travel from San Francisco to Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphy, Baltimore, Washington and San Antonio.

PWT 21-2017 San Francisco 1877

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18.05.2017 PWT 20-2017 Gray on Gray … Reappearance of an Artist

Who can be this Missing Post-Impressionist and Pointillist French Painter ? ii
Weekly Cartoon by Théophile: Ghost of Louis Hayet iii
A Clue in Two Letters from Theo to Vincent Van Gogh 1-2
Is it “the dream of any art lover, like a gold seeker facing an unknown mine” ? 3-9
Epilogue, 1894: “Arrestation de l’Anarchiste du Ministère“ Félix Fénéon (French text) 10-13
Epilogue, 1918: White on White or Thirty years later, Kazimir Malevich 14-15


Who can be this post-impressionist and pointillist French painter, born in 1864 in a poor French family, who happened to meet the Pissarros, father and son when painting along a river?
Who grew up and developed his theory in the rising shadow of the Eiffel Tower?
Who could have been so upset by the quarrels of Bernard and Signac that he decided, after the disappearance of Seurat and the exile of Gauguin in the Pacific, to leave all the vanguards?
Who has had his best friend and art critic in prison for anarchism?

PWT 20-2017 Grey on Grey

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Bertram Charles Percival Park (1883-1972)

Bertram Park was a portrait photographer whose work included British and European royalty. His photographs were widely used on British postage stamps, currency, and other official documents in the 1930s, and the source for two paintings by Walter Sickert. For example, Park provided the photograph of George VI on which the 4d Southern Rhodesian stamp was based.
In 1910, Bertram Park was one of the founders of the London Salon of Photography. In 1916, Park married the photographer Yvonne Gregory (1889-1970) at Hampstead and she became one of his principal models. They produced together a number of photographic books of the female nude.


PWT 19-2017 Royal Audace

Music ? Please click on link :

 (Gabriel Fauré: La Rose - Massimo Crispi, tenor & Antonio Ballista, piano)
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04.05.2017 PWT 18-2017 Suspect, Suspicion of Counterfeiting: The Baldus Case


Edouard Baldus is known as a major photographer of the 19th century, one of the Famous Five who participated in the 1851 Mission héliographique in France. In 1994, Malcolm Daniel edited an impressive Baldus catalogue and biography, and Edouard became one of the very first photographers to have a scientific monography dedicated to his complete works.
Malcolm Daniel received a very curious message ten years later as he told in an article published in the blog of the Metropolitan Museum, New York :

PWT 18-2017 Baldus

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13.04.2017 PWT 15-2017 Copy, Copy, Copyright: First Trials between Photographers, Mayer versus Franck

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute but limited by limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.

In France in 1863, in United States in 1883, in Italy in 1886, the court set precedent for photography to be legally included as a means of artistic and original expression.


PWT 15-2017 Copy Copy Copyright

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06.04.2017 PWT 14-2017 Black Is Black (The discontinuous tones and discrete values problem in photogravure since Poitevin till Baldus, I)

PWT 14-2017 Black is Black



The words « sewage » and « sewer » came from Old French essouier = « to drain », which came from Latinexaquāre. Their formal Latin antecedents are exaquāticum and exaquārium.

PWT 14-2017 Black is Black

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30.03.2017 PWT 13-2017 Alfred, Eugène, Olympe, Émile, Gustave, Édouard, Désiré, Séraphin : Just Unearthed, the Pellechet Collection at Auction 24 April 2017



Chayette & Cheval will auction next 24 April the intact documentation library and photo collection of the French Architect Jules Pellechet (1829-1903).

Jules was the son of the architect Auguste Pellechet (1789-1871), and a former student of the École polytechnique and the École des Beaux-Arts (promotion of 1850, prof: Abel Blouet). Architect at large of the Artillery technical division in the French Ministry of War,  Jules Pellechet became a member of the French Society of Architects in 1869, and a Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1899.

« I have an atrocious hunger, and I finish my letter, kissing you all and you (her sister Marie Pellechet) in particular. Tell grandma that her 300 francs have been spent to buy photographs, which combined with my sketches, will provide me famous memories. Farewell then, I hope it is called mail reply by mail!” Rome, 30 January 1857.


PWT 13-2017 The Pellechet Collection




Liste complete de vente

Liste de vente 24042017



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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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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