Lartigue, Wide-Eyed Wonder (1894–1986)
Château de Tours
du 24 novembre 2012 au 26 mai 2013
“Ever since I was small, I have had a sort of illness: all the things that amaze me disappear without my memory retaining them sufficiently”, stated Jacques-Henri Lartigue (Courbevoie, 1894–Nice, 1986) in his diary in 1965. Amazement and faltering memory, passion for life and secret wound faced by the temporality of things, these were all it needed for Lartigue to glean and collect over 80 years these thousands of fugitive instants whose beauty he knew how to show us. The exhibition presents more than 100 photographs, in large formats, that helped make Lartigue’s fame.

They have been chosen from the 135 large albums that he designed and captioned (a diary in images that spans the 20th century through its 14,423 pages) and are completed by quotes taken from his diary and a selection of facsimiles of documents (albums, appointment diaries illustrated with sketches, handwritten diary, negative and positive contact sheets) that allow one to approach Lartigue’s method from close up.

Lartigue learned photography as early as 1900 though his father who gave him his first camera at the age of 8 in 1902. From then on, he never stopped taking photos: his childhood punctuated by trips in an automobile, family holidays and, above all, the inventions of his older brother, nicknamed Zissou.
The two brothers were crazy about cars, aviation and all the sports then in vogue. Jacques recorded them thanks to his camera. As an adult, he continued to attend sporting events and to himself practise several sports reserved for the elite: skiing, skating, tennis, golf...
However, for this child so anxious to hold back passing time, photography was not enough. How, in effect, could one say everything and remember everything in an image taken in a few seconds? This is why in parallel he began writing of a diary that he would keep up all his life.

Two films are projected: A knowing portrait made by his friend François Reichenbach in 1980, and Le Siècle en posit if, a romantic portrait made using Lartigue’s photographs by Philippe Kohly in 1999.

Martine d’Astier, director of the Donation Jacques Henri Lartigue.

Exhibition organised together with the Jeu de Paume and the city of Tours, in collaboration with the Society of Friends of Jacques Henri Lartigue (so called Donation JH Lartigue). Trust of the general direction for the Heritage, ministry of Culture and Communication.

25 avenue André Malraux – 37000 Tours
Tél. : 02 47 70 88 46
40, rue Cortambert, Paris, 1905
Jacques Henri Lartigue
Tirage gélatino argentique.
© Ministère de la Culture-France/AA JHL