“Shipwrecked pictures” from the Albert Khan museum : can our community help identify these photographs ?

Back in 1912, french millionaire Albert Kahn hired Stéphane Passet to be a photographer for the monumental project Archives of the planet, an iconographic memory of societies, environments and lifestyles around the world. From 1909 to 1931, Albert Kahn  commissioned photographers and film cameramen to record life in over 50 countries. The Archives of the planet were a collection of 180,000 metres of b/w film and more than 72,000 autochrome plates, most of which are held at Museum Albert Kahn in Boulogne, close to Paris.

Autochrome was the first industrial process for true colour photography. When the Lumière brothers launched it commercially in June 1907, it was a photograhic revolution – black and white came to life in colour. Autochromes consist of fine layers of microscopic grains of potato starch – dyed either red-orange, green or violet blue – combined with black carbon particles, spread over a glass plate where it is combined with a black and white photographic emulsion. All colours can be reproduced from three primary colours. Some of the autochrome pictures available today are however unidentified, some happen to be of Bombay. Who among you in the Raxa Collective community can help locate these sites?

At the end of 1913, after reporting in China, Turkey, Morocco, Mongolia and Greece, Stéphane Passet arrived in India. From his Bombay trip, 4 pictures remain to be correctly located:

A004363

A tower for ritual oil lamps close to a sacred basin. The building in the background may be a crematory. And this tower may look like one of those around the Banganga Tank of Mumbai however it is not one of them.

Autochrome de Stéphane Passet, inv. A 4363

© Musée Albert-Kahn – Département des Hauts-de-Seine

A004360 Unidentified religious site, it is probably located close to the tower shown above.

Autochrome by Stéphane Passet, inv. A 4360

© Musée Albert-Kahn – Département des Hauts-de-Seine

A004381Bombay Mosque 1 : the name and the street of this mosque are yet to be identified.

Autochrome by Stéphane Passet, inv. A 4381

© Musée Albert-Kahn – Département des Hauts-de-Seine

A004373

Bombay Mosque 2 : the name and the street of this mosque are yet to be identified

Autochrome by Stéphane Passet, inv. A 4373

© Musée Albert-Kahn – Département des Hauts-de-Seine


For the architectural details of each site please click here.

Hoping we, as a community can provide answers to the Albert Kahn museum. Also if you love photography and if you happen to be in Paris, you should totally check it out. As an archive researcher by trade, I consider it my alma mater, so I may be a bit biased, but with its magnificent gardens and exciting exhibitions, it is one of the prettiest, most interesting place right out of town.

 

One thought on ““Shipwrecked pictures” from the Albert Khan museum : can our community help identify these photographs ?

  1. Pingback: A Museum You Likely Never Heard Of | Raxa Collective

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