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The First World War in pictures | Paris

Exhibition from 3 November to 13 December

Opening: 6 November 7 p.m.

Hungarian Institute in Paris | 92, rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +33 1 43 26 06 44


The exhibition of the Hungarian Institute in Paris, opening on 6 November, is a selection of World War One photos from the Hungarian Museum of Photography. The photos are special in the sense that they were taken by soldiers or war correspondents, originally either amateur or professional photographers.   
During the First World War, just like almost all Hungarian weeklies, Érdekes Újság (Interesting Magazine) and Pesti Napló (Pest Chronicles) published regularly photos taken by soldiers fighting on the frontline. This was an obvious choice, since at the beginning of the war no newspaper or magazine –except for Vasárnapi Újság (Sunday News)- had a professional photographer who would undertake the task.  In light of this, it is understandable that both magazines/papers invited entries for a competition to obtain the best possible pictures from the frontline. These competitions have a special significance in the history of Hungarian photography because photographers such as André Kertész or Vydareny Iván published their first works via these opportunities.

The exhibition showcases works of such photographers who, at the time amateurs, later became professionals and artists (such as André Kertész). On top of this, photographs of amateurs never exhibited before – primarily doctors working on the frontline, for example those of Doctor Sándor Nádas, which show a surprising maturity in artistic terms- will be seen. 

A major part of the show, however, is based on the photos of Rudolf Balogh, already well-known throughout Europe. Balogh, together with Gyula Jelfy, established Hungarian photo riportage as such, with the First World War creating ground for it. Rudolf Balogh (1879–1944) was     a photographer working for Vasárnapi Újság from 1903 and remained there until 1921, when it ceased to exist. The several thousand negatives of Balogh preserved in the Hungarian Museum of Photography, which register memories from the First World War, were ’’by-products’’, made not on commission, but rather for his own ends.  Several dozens of them were taken with the Eastman Kodak Co.’s No. 4. Panoram–Kodak Model D, one of the most interesting cameras of the day. Thus the exhibition will not only interest those who would like to know a better life on and behind the different frontlines, but also those who are interested in achievements in photo technology and peculiar types of equipment.

The curator of the show is Péter Baki, Director of the Hungarian Museum of Photography

Admission free.

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