Braun, Adolphe - Image and Enterprise The Photographs of Adolphe Braun
Ever since their creation in nineteenth-century France, Adolphe Braun's photographic images have been uniformly praised for their beauty. Braun was a trained textile designer who initially used the nascent technology of photography to document the French landscape and architecture, traditional regional costume, animal breeds and husbandry, and the events and legacies of the Franco-Prussian war. Braun's opulent bouquets of flowers are at once lush, delicate, and richly tonal; his landscapes are breathtaking and immediate; his animal studies arresting; his war photos dramatic and unrelenting. He created thousands of visual souvenirs of pristine alpine sites and would ultimately become one of the first to reproduce works of art photographically for a mass audience. Although the creation of ''fine art'' was not his intention, Braun produced work that was (and still is) synonymous with superb technical and artistic resolution, as he sought to identify popular uses for the process of photography. Through Braun's provocative work, Image and Enterprise explores the origins of contemporary visual communication--from the evolution of photography to the means of dissemination to the public. The introductory essays give an overview of Braun's photographic enterprise, his use of new technology, and the political and economic climate in which his business flourished. Other essays examine discrete aspects of Braun's work in the context of contemporary social, economic, and cultural history. Published to accompany an exhibition at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Cleveland Museum of Art.