Edition 2019



Arles celebrates its 50th year. It’s a long story that’s seen the history of photography pass by. 26 artistic directors have come and gone, presenting over 1,234 exhibitions under the watchful eyes of Arles’ founders, Lucien Clergue, Jean-Maurice Rouquette and Michel Tournier. Each summer, the city grows louder with the sound of photography. Arles has been, and remains, a place of discovery, surprises, scandal and debate. Almost every photographer has passed through at one moment or another, and for many, showing their work in Arles changed the course of their careers. Diving into the past of the Rencontres d’Arles is like reliving the history of photography. On the occasion of our 50th anniversary, we undertook the unprecedented task of identifying, ranking, and inventorying in order to convert our archives into collective memory, so that tomorrow anyone can consult our collection and review the festival’s history. The present exhibition and two companion publications tell the story of the Rencontres d’Arles, first in a dialogue between festival archives and collections, and second, by situating 50 years of the festival within the history of France. These two directions take the first steps in exploring the role the festival has played in the lives of photography lovers.

Exhibition curator: Sam Stourdzé, assisted by Annaëlle Veyrard.
In partnership with the Musée Réattu, custodian of the Rencontres d'Arles collection.
In collaboration with the International Center of Photography, New York, and École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie.
With the cooperation of the Atelier Lucien Clergue.
Publications: Les Rencontres de la photographie, une histoire française, Françoise Denoyelle, copublication Art Book Magazine/Les Rencontres de la Photographie, 2019.
Arles, les Rencontres de la photographie : 50 ans d’histoire, Françoise Denoyelle, editing by Sam Stourdzé, Éditions de La Martinière, 2019.
A supplement reproducing the 50 posters of the festival accompanies the catalogue of the Rencontres d’Arles.
Poster prints by Picto, Paris.
Modern prints and framing by Atelier SHL, Arles.

With support from Olympus.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture