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Henri Cartier-Bresson / Scrapbook

Photographs 1932-1946

Agnès Sire, Michel Frizot

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'Matchless perfection … a really inspired and insightful line of attack into a well-covered subject' Daily Telegraph


Henri Cartier-Bresson was taken prisoner by the Germans in 1940. After two unsuccessful attempts, he managed to escape in 1943. During this time, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, assuming that the photographer had died in the war, started preparing what they thought was a posthumous exhibition of his work.

When he reappeared, Cartier-Bresson was delighted to learn of the exhibition, and decided to review his entire work and curate it himself. In 1946 he travelled to New York with about 300 prints in his suitcase, bought a scrapbook, glued each one in, and brought that album to MoMA’s curators. His first exhibition, a celebration of his survival, opened on 4 February 1947.

In the 1990s, Cartier-Bresson once again returned to this scrapbook. Following his death in 2004, the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, the present owner of the prints, finished restoring them, making it possible to bring a large body of extraordinary, hitherto unpublished work to the public, images that have finally become a memorial collection after all.

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'Simply wonderful'
Black & White Photography

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback without Jacket

Size: 32.0 x 27.0 cm

Extent: 264 pp

Publication date: 8 December 2006

ISBN: 9780500543337

About the Author

Agnès Sire has been the director of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris since its creation in 2003.

Michel Frizot is a French historian of photography.

List of Contributors

Agnès Sire, Michel Frizot, Martine Franck