Atget, Jean Eugène Auguste (1857–1927) By Protz, Uta
Eugène Atget employed one of the defining instruments of modernity—the camera—to produce a comprehensive photographic record of what modern city planning was about to destroy: Old Paris. Between 1897 and 1927 he made approximately 10,000 glass negatives from which he printed an estimated 25,000 albumen prints showing Paris and its environs in its many architectural and social appearances. Next to palaces and parks he captured the capital’s back alleys and shanty towns. He also took a keen interest in the city’s people and portrayed its salesmen and traders as well as its rag-and-bone men and prostitutes.