Albert Kahn Museum & Gardens

Albert Kahn (1860-1940) was a French banker and philanthropist who was known for initiating a vast photography project. In 1909, Kahn travelled with his chauffeur/photographer to Japan on business and returned with many photographs of the journey. That prompted him to begin a project collecting a photographic record of the entire Earth. He then sent photographers to every continent to record images of the planet using early color photography: autochrome plates, and early cinematography. Between 1909 and 1931 they collected 72,000 color photographs and 183,000 meters of film. These form a unique historical record of 50 countries, known as The Archives of the Planet. In 1893 Kahn purchased a large property just outside of Paris, where he set out to create a 10-acre garden that incorporated elements from all around the world.  The garden includes an English garden, a Japanese garden with a traditional house and tea-room, a rose garden and a conifer wood. Kahn lost his fortune during the Wall Street crash of 1929 and was left bankrupt. The gardens were turned into a public park where Kahn himself continued to take walks.  Albert Kahn died in 1940.

The front of the museum facing the street is very strange. But the back of it which faces the gardens looks very Japanese and works wonderfully with the adjacent Japanese gardens.
This is the back of the museum. There’s a narrow walkway between the “shutters” and the side of the museum so the shutters aren’t actually attached to the museum.
We’ve left the Japanese gardens and this is more of a woodsy area.
I loved this scene of a mother sitting out in the woods reading a book to her children.
A very interesting display of the 3×5 photographs. There is no identification available with them although I suspect there is some available elsewhere. In another area of this room, viewing stations were set up for the videos.

One thought on “Albert Kahn Museum & Gardens

  1. I loved the picture of the mother and children on the bench – that is priceless. The flowers, trees and bridges are beautiful. Great pictures.

    I liked the photograph display. That was very well done.

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