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



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

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.

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.

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.

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…

27.10.2016 PWT 43-2016 A Young and Mature Art: Jean-Gabriel Eynard-Lullin

When invention of photography was proclaimed in 1839, not all the adepts were new born chicken and a few mature gentlemen did express they interest.



20.10.2016 PWT N°42 Thursday 20th October 2016: A Tribute to the Invention of Photography during the Daguerreian Week







29.09.2016 PWT 39-2016 NADAR IN COLORS