ORIENT-EXPRESS & Cie
BETWEEN HISTORY AND MYTHOLOGY
Many tales, fabricated or based on facts, have been told about the Orient-Express, a technological achievement that became a cultural icon. Some have become legends, drowning historical reality in imaginative stories. It all started with the International Sleeping-Car Company, which ran the Orient-Express, the world’s first international luxury train, between Paris and Constantinople, later Istanbul, from 1883 to 1977. Its creation was a veritable diplomatic and economic feat at a time when empires and states used railways as an instrument of political power. The photographs in the Orient-Express & Co exhibition come from the archives of the former International Sleeping-Car Company. Pictures, plans, maps, technical drawings and advertising brochures saved by former employees during the company’s various reorganizations put the Orient-Express into its historical context. Most are anonymous, others the work of famous studios such as Paul Nadar, Albert Chevojon and Sebah & Joailler.
Exhibition curators: Éva Gravayat and Arthur Mettetal.
Exhibition coproduced by the Endowment Fund Orient Express and the Rencontres d’Arles.
Publication: Orient-Express & Co, archives photographiques d’un train mythique, éditions Textuel, 2020.
Wallpapers by Picto, Paris
Framing by Circad, Paris.
With support from SNCF Gares & Connexions.