La SFP est ravie d'annoncer sa participation au colloque international Colour Fever du Victoria & Albert Museum, grâce à l'invitation de Catlin Langford, curatrice boursière de la Bern Schwartz Family Foundation. La collection d'autochromes conservée par la SFP, disponible ici, y sera présentée par Colette Morel le vendredi 5 novembre à 11h30 lors d'une session consacrée à la production, la projection et la conservation de ce procédé.

Le programme de l'évènement en ligne est disponible sur le site du Victoria & Albert Museum.

The autochrome plates of the Société française de photographie: A colourful story

Founded in Paris in 1854, the Société française de photographie (SFP) features a collection of over 6,000 autochromes that tells the story of the early beginnings of colour photography, spanning its varied applications and first large-scale commercialization. Striving to conserve photographic innovations ever since, the SFP possesses the first technical tests of the Lumière Brothers, later donated by the photographer and collector Gabriel Cromer. They are the prologue to this story, followed by the 1,200 autochrome plates of the photojournalist Leon Gimpel who helped achieve the diffusion of the process in 1907. In this circle of photography enthusiasts (of which Louis Lumière was the honorary president from 1925 to 1927), many contributed to the improvement of the autochrome, including the specialist of micro and macro photography Fernand Montpillard, and the amateur and traveller Count Raymond de Dalmas. Around the motionless journey offered by photography, a sociability first based upon monochrome then colour projection flourished. From Fontainebleau Forest photographed by Georges Balagny to the oriental fantasy of Jules Gervais-Courtellemont's, and the Italy of Louise Deglane, one of the rare women autochromist, this collection offers a trip in colour and an immersion into the practice. Gathering together professionals and amateurs, renowned photographers and anonymous contributors, its variety can be traced to the longevity of the SFP itself, which absorbed the collections of several societies such as the Excursions Society of Amateur Photographers or the Photo-Club of Paris. This accounts for the numerous autochromists driven by artistic ambitions close to Pictorialist cercles as the nude photographer Paul Bergon, or the Impressionnist collector Antonin Personnaz. The work of the latter was recently the theme of several exhibitions, three years after the uploading and digitalization of the entire autochrome plates collection. Inviting to explore the technical, practical and esthetical story of the autochromatic process, this collection allows us to reflect on the contemporary challenges faced by artistic and historic institutions, whether from the point of view of conservation, dissemination, or that of research.