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seeing the world through autochrome-colored glasses

June 17, 2010

I stumbled across these photos by Albert Kahn yesterday and was completely mesmerized. Some of the earliest color photos taken using a procedure known as “autochrome,” (involving glass plates and potato starch). Kahn, a staunch pacifist, traveled around the world, documenting the beauty and people of many cultures. His hope was that if the rest of the world could see the simple humanity of people always identified as “other,” perhaps peace might be possible.

I wanted to share some of my favorite ones, though I would recommend going to this site to see more.

Kahn took over 72,000 photos in his life, so this is only a small drop of his work. I just got a book of his photography out of the library yesterday and lugged it home, excited to sit down this weekend with a glass of wine and some freshly baked foccacia and take a mental vacation back to the 1900s.

[Photo credit: Albert Kahn, via here]

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    June 17, 2010 3:50 pm

    Great site. Thanks. Makes 3-D, HD, and all the rest look strangely cheap. This has a simple beauty.

  2. Caroline permalink*
    June 18, 2010 3:32 pm

    @ Uncle Dave!

    Much agreed — it makes the past seem a whole lot closer. I can’t wait to look through this book and experience even more of this “simple beauty.”

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