Published on Friday, August 23, 2019
A Tale of Two Cities: Paris Photo New York
André Kertész, Pont des Arts, Paris, 1929/1960s
Courtesy of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, Chalfont, PA
If you haven’t heard the news, the Association of Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) is partnering with Paris Photo and Reed Exhibitions to present Paris Photo New York, a new exhibition that will launch on April 2, 2020 at Pier 94. The fair will offer a new space to educate enthusiasts and strengthen connections in the world of fine art photography. It also creates a transatlantic hub that connects the medium’s two most influential cities and organizations.
Paris Photo New York furthers a connection between Paris and New York that has existed since the earliest days of the photographic medium. In 1839, Prof. Samuel Finley Breese Morse, a painter and inventor, became the first American to see the daguerreotype process, presented in Paris by the French government as a gift to the world. Morse described the experience in a letter – which was later published in the New York Observer, introducing many to the invention – that called the daguerreotype “one of the most beautiful discoveries of the age.”
Beyond capturing the power of the new medium, Morse’s comment came as part of an emerging exchange of ideas, technology, and artistic innovation that continues to this day. Scholar Catherine Clark notes that when it comes to the study of photography, “the historical institutions in Paris are some of the earliest,” counting venerable institutions like the French Academy of Sciences and the Académie des Beaux-Arts among their numbers The city’s rich history would draw photographers from around the world, the U.S. being no exception.
In the early part of the 20th century, American artists like Man Ray, Walker Evans, and Berenice Abbott were drawn to Paris., and the city had an enormous impact on their work. The expatriates and their work helped to further build the dialogue between Paris and New York For example, Abbott rescued Parisian photographer Eugene Atget’s archive and brought it back with her to New York, where she championed the work and brought it to new audiences. Atget’s bold, vernacular photography of the streets of Paris continued to influence Abbot’s own photography and her signature work documenting New York in the 30’s.
With the global unrest of the second World War, an influx of European photographers fled Paris, landed in New York and further influenced the photographic landscape. Notable artists who had been working in Paris and grew to prominence in New York include André Kertész, Lisette Model, and Ilse Bing.
Focus on the Future
Today, Paris remains a leader in the world of photography, in part by hosting a wide range of special events dedicated to the medium. Paris Photo has established itself as part of this tradition.
Since 1997, the fair has presented historic, modern, and contemporary photography to more than 68,000 professionals and enthusiasts. From its place in a city whose rich archival tradition has shaped the history of the art form, Paris Photo has become a leading international voice in the world of photography – for dealers, for collectors and curators, and for the public at large.
Paris Photo New York will extend that reach even further by tapping into the well-established photography market in New York that AIPAD has spent 40 years creating and cultivating.
AIPAD has been a unifying force in the field of fine art photography, and itis dedicated to creating and maintaining high standards in the business of exhibiting, buying and selling photographs as art. The Photography Show, AIPAD’s annual art fair in New York, has elevated and built awareness of the art form over the years.
Drawing on the city’s thriving arts scene, museums and public institutions, Paris Photo New York will expand and diversify the fair’s representation of international and cutting-edge galleries, invigorating the community of curators and art professional in the Americas and beyond.
AIPAD enthusiastically supports this goal. With its expertise, AIPAD will participate in the Paris Photo New York selection committee and other programs related to the fair. AIPAD President Richard Moore notes that the collaboration will also enable AIPAD to advance its own mission by allowing it to dedicate more resources to developing new non-profit initiatives and year-round educational programming.
AIPAD is excited about the possibilities ahead, and continues its dedication to public appreciation of photography as art, the rights of photographers and collectors, and building confidence of the public in responsible photography.
 Teicher, Jordan G. 2017. "The Hidden History of Photography in New York." Lens . February 22. https://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/the-hidden-history-of-photography-and-new-york/.
 Dizikes, Peter. 2018. "What Paris Shows Us About the History of Photography." MIT News. August 16. http://news.mit.edu/2018/book-catherine-clark-paris-history-photography-0816.
 Rosen, Miss. 2019. "From Paris to New York: The Story of Eugene Atget & Berenice Abbott." Feature Shoot. January 31. https://www.featureshoot.com/2019/01/from-paris-to-new-york-the-story-of-eugene-atget-berenice-abbott/.