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The Dawn of the Color Photograph:
Albert Kahn's Archives of the Planet
David Okuefuna

Book Description | Table of Contents


"Autochrome technology was taken up by French philanthropist Albert Kahn, who sent photographers all over the world to record in color the panoply of human cultures, all in the interest of mutual understanding and peace. The results of Kahn's generosity are on display in The Dawn of the Color Photograph, and they amount to a massive collage of the early decades of the 20th century, a time."--Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World

"This fascinating book includes mostly posed groups of farmers, workers and artisans from Western Europe, the Americas, the Far East, Africa and Indochina."--Regan McMahon, San Francisco Chronicle

"When the Lumière brothers invented colour photography in 1907, one of their countrymen immediately saw in it the possibility of promoting cross-cultural understanding. Albert Kahn, a banker and pacifist from Paris, dispatched photographers around the globe to document the people they found. For the next 20 years, they immortalized Germans, Montenegrins, Egyptians, Mongolians and every other manner of global citizen. This isn't a book about photography; it's a pictorial history of the colour-saturated world that existed before we all started wearing blue jeans and Nike T-shirts."--The Globe and Mail

"Most of us would think that photos of a trip around the world made in 1908 couldn't possibly have been taken in colour, but they were. This book gives a fascinating look at some of the beautiful 72,000 colour images, which are accompanied in the archives by 4,000 black and white photographs and 120 hours of rare documentary film footage, all housed in the Musee Albert-Kahn in a Parisian suburbs."--Nancy Tousley, Calgary Herald

"Amazing, filled with color photographs shot from about 1909 to 1929. French banker Albert Kahn sent a team of photographers to shoot pictures in autochrome, the first portable color photographic process around the globe. Blue sails, red cloaks, yellow flowers: The hues are astonishing, and so are the glimpses of a vanished world."--Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A beautifully illustrated book. . . . The Dawn of the Color Photograph is a handsome document full of lush and memorable images. Most of us still picture 1909 exclusively in black and white, so it's a revelation to peer back 100 years and see such eerily bright hues."--Dushko Petrovich, The Boston Globe

"The photographs, hundreds of which are compiled in the new book, are breathtaking. . . . [An] extraordinary volume. . . . Countless beautiful images of now-lost worlds to enthrall us and remind us where we came from."--Raquel Laneri,

"Albert Kahn's collection of early color photographs is recognized as one of the world's most important. The Dawn of the Color Photograph makes it easy to see why."--Art New England

"You can hardly read this collection without being conscious of the remarkable research effort involved in bringing together hundreds of thinly documented photos and attempting to write informative captions for each."--James F. X. O'Gara, Weekly Standard

"To celebrate a century of the little-known collection, Princeton University Press has issued an impressive new monograph, The Dawn of the Color Photograph: Albert Kahn's Archives of the Planet. . . . The new book is the first widely available collection to reproduce Kahn's photographs from every region of the world."--Mark Cohen,

"David Okuefuna, a producer of the BBC television series 'The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn,' is to be commended for making Kahn's early color photography accessible. It is a joy to behold."--Larry Cox, King Features Weekly Service


"An astonishing, captivating, and extraordinary collection of early color photographs."--Anthony W. Lee, Mount Holyoke College

Praise for the television series: "Astonishing images."--Time Out

Praise for the television series: "A fascinating and vivid celebration of the earliest examples of colour photography."--Gareth McLean, Guardian

Praise for the television series: "A legacy of inestimable richness."--Benjamin Secher, Daily Telegraph

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File created: 4/21/2017

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