WRITER: BRIAN SHAWVER
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
UI Museum of Art shows photographic 'Record of a Lost Paris'
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will exhibit
"Charles Marville: A Record of a Lost Paris" from Nov. 15 to
Feb. 1 in the museum's Paper Gallery. The photographs in the exhibition
depict the city of Paris as it looked before an urban renewal project in
the 1860s destroyed much of the old city.
The exhibition will be open to the public free of charge.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Stephen Prokopoff, director of the
museum, will present a lecture and gallery tour of the photographs at 12:30
p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 3.
In the 1860s, under the orders of Emperor Napoleon III, the city of
Paris undertook one of the most extensive urban renewal projects of modern
times, which resulted in many of the wide boulevards and open public spaces
for which Paris is now famous. The project also resulted in the destruction
of a great deal of the old and crowded city, the look of which Marville
was commissioned to capture in photographs.
Although few prints of his negatives were made, Marville is considered
one of the great early French photographers, and in his lifetime his photographs
enjoyed wide acclaim.
The French government, however, was more concerned with Marville's photographs
as historical documentation of Paris than as works of art. Marville was
carefully instructed to systematically detail every area of the city that
was to be destroyed.
Prokopoff said, "The French are very concerned with their own history,
and so when they embarked on the Parisian renewal project, one of their
priorities was to document the way the city looked."
Today the photographs are valued as works of art by an exceptionally
talented early photographer as well as a detailed record of a Paris that
no longer exists.
The UI Museum of Art acquired the photographs for the exhibition from
the Musee Carnavalet in Paris.
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City,
is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots
across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni
Center, which is just north of the museum.