Other: Americas & Europe
15 imagesParis in the 1920s Taken by a Japanese photographer influenced by Brassai and a member of a prominent Tokyo photo circle. Offered as a set In the mid 1990s, these photographs were discovered in Tokyo, part of an archive of photographs taken by a group of Japanese pictorialists based in Tokyo. Although only a of few the prints in this archive contained verso inscriptions or signatures, there was enough clues to formulate it’s history and eventual attribution. The first obvious clue was that this archive was the work of several photographers, and with this pretense in mind, research was done on Japanese photography clubs based in the Kanto area during the 1920s. After extensive research was undertaken, this archive is thought to have originated from a Tokyo based photographic circle called the Hakunaka Shako Kai. One of the prints contained a hanko stamp by Takano Kisei, a Tokyo photographer active in the 1920s and early 1930s. Takano’s photo circle consisted of nine members including himself and Co-Director Miyashita Kiichiro. The Hakunaka Shako Kai is thought to have been in existence from 1926 to 1930 due to listings in various photographic annuals and journals of the day. Another connection is these photographs were taken by members of the Tokyo Shashin Kenkyu Kai (Tokyo Photographic Research Society), a prominent photographic art study group founded by pioneering Japanese pictorialists Akiyama Tetsuke, Ono Ryu and Saito Taro in 1907. This photo association was in existence well into the 1930s and regularly held exhibitions and published the photo journal Gashu. Each issue of Gashu averaged one a year with the earlier issues being printed in collotype and the later issues in high quality duotone photogravure from the 1920s. In the 1932-1933 Japan Photographic Annual published by Asahi, a listing of top photo associations in Japan included the names of all 112 members of the Tokyo Shashin Kenkyu Kai. Included were Takano Kisei, the same photographer mentioned above and two other names that matched print signatures within this archive. Takano is the common link and it’s thought these photographs were taken by one his associates within this group. * Brassai connection: When this archive was discovered, it contained a number of copy prints made directly from the pages of Paris de Nuit (Paris by Night) by Brassai (Gyula Halász). These prints were retouched and enhanced, indicating they were used for publishing in a Japanese photo journal. As these Brassai copy prints were printed on Agfa-Brovia photographic paper, the same paper as the Japanese Paris views offered here, this suggest a great admiration for Brassai by the person who took these photographs, so much that he traveled to Paris to do street photography there and possibly meet Brassai in person.