MEP – Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris
The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, also known as MEP, is the city’s leading center exclusively focused on photography.
History and building
The center was founded with the name of Espace Photo by Henry Chapier, Jean-Luc Monterosso, Marcel Landowski, and Francis Balagna in 1985.
Renamed Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the center moved to its current home in the Hôtel Hénault de Cantobre in 1996.
Built in 1706 in the Marais neighborhood as the residence of writer and historian Charles-Jean-François Hénault, the museum’s historical palace was renovated and expanded after a design by architectural agency Atelier Lyon Associés.
Encompassing a total floor area of 3,550 square meters / 38,200 square feet, the center’s building contains 1,000 square meters / 10,700 square feet of exhibition space, a 100-seat auditorium, a 30,000-volume library, a video library with 750 films, a photo restoration workshop, a cafe, a gift and bookshop, and a garden.
Collection and program of events
The collection of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie comprises over 20,000 photographs dating from the early 1950s to the present.
Artists in the collection include Édouard Boubat, Brassaï, Harry Callahan, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Larry Clark, Donigan Cumming, Raymond Depardon, Jim Dine, Bernard Faucon, Alain Fleischer, Robert Frank, Mario Giacomelli, Eikoh Hosoe, Michel Journiac, William Klein, Josef Koudelka, Pierre Molinier, Ikko Narahara, Helmut Newton, Ralph Gibson, Martin Parr, Irving Penn, Sebastião Salgado, Joel Sternfeld, Georges Rousse, Johan van der Keuken, and William Wegman, to name just a few.
The principles on which the collection is based are to provide a diverse overview on themes and movements of contemporary photography, and to feature as comprehensively as possible the work of the most important photographers of the 20th and 21st century, with a view to present them through individual retrospective exhibitions.
The program of events of the center comprises special exhibitions – about twenty a year, either thematic or covering single artists – focused on contemporary French and international photography, together with film screenings, guided tours, talks, conferences, workshops and educational activities for youngsters, and special events.
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, exterior and interior views; photos © Jean-Marie Monthiers, courtesy of Atelier Lyon Associés
View of recent exhibitions at the MEP, photos by ExpectGrain, and Victortsu
Cover image © Jean-Marie Monthiers, courtesy of Atelier Lyon Associés
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copyright Inexhibit 2019 - ISSN: 2283-5474