Album de France, 1945

Cover back and front

 

 

The liberation of France from Nazi Germany is the subject of many photobook publications, and Album de France is a classic among them.
The images at the beginning of the book show Nazi occupation and violence in France. After a few pages the story begins to change, and we see the first resistance movements followed by the liberation and celebrations, with a focus on rebuilding. The book ends on an optimistic note with an image of a woman sitting on a roof top, raising her arms, looking into the cloudy Parisian sky. The photographers, institutions and agencies involved are listed alphabetically the end of the book. Robert Doisneau and Germaine Krull are the two famous names which stand out on this list.

This spiral-bound book consists entirely of genuine silver gelatin prints! A translucent paper page with caption printed in red prefaces each print. In this respect, Album de France is an oddity amongst photobooks.

From the introduction:
To-day, France is at work without fuss or noise, cleaning away, patching up, repairing. She is also creating, and paving the way for the future. From her liberal soil, she draws new strength. Her indefatigable inventiveness hides her in her upward climb.She knows what she wants. She heard the voice of freedom long ago. She hears it still with her, all the world.

This book was a non-commercial release and never appeared in bookstores. They were handed out as gifts to participants of the International Labour Conference in Paris 1945.

Each copy has the following text (in French and English) bound in at the end:

Presented by the provisional Government of the French Republic
to ……….
in memory of the 27th Session the International Labour Conference
Paris, October-November 1945

Album published by the Ministry of information

Photographs by A.B.C., Aveline, Borge, Champroux, Contalle, Dreux, Robert Doisneau, France-Presse, Guillaume, Keystone, Germaine Krull, Le Boyer, Manuel, J. M. Marcel, Ministère de l’Information, Ministère de la Reconstruction, Service Cinématographique de l’Air, Ofic, Services d’Information Américain, Vals, Viguier, Yan.

1 page introduction in French and English
59 photographs including cover images
36 prints with 36 pages of translucent paper.
1 dedication page with credits.

Laminated covers

Hard cover (spiral bound)

18.3 x 24.4cm

42 pages

Introduction

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945

Album de France, 1945. Dedication page