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Edition 2014

Les Clergues d'Arles

Photographs by Lucien Clergue in the Musée Réattu’s collections

The Musée Réattu is among the founding sites of an artistic discipline now emblematic of and synonymous with Arles: photography. In 1965, at the initiative of Lucien Clergue and then-curator Jean-Maurice Rouquette, this institution traditionally devoted to fine arts established France’s first museum photography department. Spontaneous donations by the great photographers of the time formed the collection’s historic nucleus. Now more than 5,000 pieces strong, it is still growing, testimony to a contemporary medium of which Lucien Clergue remains the brilliant ambassador. His innovations and accomplishments? A public collection, the Rencontres, the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, even the study of photography at the university level (his thesis on aesthetics was hailed by Roland Barthes)—and in 2013 the supreme honour of pre- siding over the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France. This collection is now inestimable, in both quality and historic significance. Lucien Clergue has enriched it with 360 photographs, heliogravures, and documents offered the Musée Réattu throughout his career. These works bear witness to his life and are the subject of an exhibition celebrating the man, the oeuvre, and the history of an artistic discipline. The city and the museum pay grateful homage on the occasion of the photographer’s 80th birthday to an artist who made Arles the epicentre of the international photographic world.
The Musée Réattu is among the founding sites of an artistic discipline now emblematic of and synonymous with Arles: photography. In 1965, at the initiative of Lucien Clergue and then-curator Jean-Maurice Rouquette, this institution traditionally devoted to fine arts established France’s first museum photography department. Spontaneous donations by the great photographers of the time formed the collection’s historic nucleus. Now more than 5,000 pieces strong, it is still growing, testimony to a contemporary medium of which Lucien Clergue remains the brilliant ambassador. His innovations and accomplishments? A public collection, the Rencontres, the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, even the study of photography at the university level (his thesis on aesthetics was hailed by Roland Barthes)—and in 2013 the supreme honour of pre- siding over the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France. This collection is now inestimable, in both quality and historic significance. Lucien Clergue has enriched it with 360 photographs, heliogravures, and documents offered the Musée Réattu throughout his career. These works bear witness to his life and are the subject of an exhibition celebrating the man, the oeuvre, and the history of an artistic discipline. The city and the museum pay grateful homage on the occasion of the photographer’s 80th birthday to an artist who made Arles the epicentre of the international photographic world.

Pascale Picard, director of the Musée Réattu.

Pascale Picard, director of the Musée Réattu.
Exhibition curator: Pascale Picard assisted by Andy Neyrotti. Exhibition produced by the City of Arles.
Scenography: Agence Nathalie Crinière, Paris.
Graphic communication: Digital Deluxe, Arles.
An exhibition catalogue will be published in July by Éditions Gallimard. Exhibition venue: Musée Réattu, Arles.
Exhibition curator: Pascale Picard assisted by Andy Neyrotti.
Exhibition produced by the City of Arles.
Scenography: Agence Nathalie Crinière, Paris.
Graphic communication: Digital Deluxe, Arles.
An exhibition catalogue will be published in July by Éditions Gallimard.
Exhibition venue: Musée Réattu, Arles.