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Color Photography Brings the 1950s to Life at the BNF

From 14 May 2013 to 25 August 2013

The vision of Martin Karplus

A remarkable scientist and photographer named Martin Karplus is being honored by the National Library of France, the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand.

Located in the 13th arrondissement, the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, also called the BNF for short, often puts diverse works of contemporary art and photography on display. This spring, color photography from the 1950s will be shown off in the Julien Cain alley of the library.

Roughly 100 exceptional photographs, all taken during the '50s, will illustrate the humanist sentiment of Martin Karplus, a successful scientist who traveled around the world and had some incredible encounters that he was able to capture on film.

Amazingly enough, Karplus documented his travels in color with his Leica IIIC camera. A gift given to him by his parents when he was 23, this Leica allowed the young Karplus to obtain some of the first color diapositives taken on Kodachrome film.

Over 4,000 shots were examined in order to choose the 100 most impressive ones that would become part of the exhibition. Forgotten for 40 years, the vivid and breathtaking photographic vision of Karplus was rediscovered by Paul Sims in 1990. Now, a part of this vision is being presented by the BNF.