Paris Magnum, Paris City Hall, Paris

From Henri Cartier Bresson to Martin Parr, Robert Capa and Raymond Depardon, the photojournalists of Magnum Photos immortalise 80 years of the history of Paris in 150 dazzling shots. Paris Magnum reveals the capital’s daring and grand gestures, its revolts and its struggles, its hopes and its victories, and its suffering and passion.

With the members of Magnum Photos becoming the exclusive owners of their images after the end of the Second World War, the group developed photographic reporting: choosing reports, selecting shorts and controlling distribution, they transformed the status of photographers and their work. The group’s gaze turned to look at Paris’ harsh working conditions, strikes – the clenched fists of the Front Populaire – and the joy of the first paid holidays, the occupation and the restoration of sovereignty; images which are now seen in the context of their significance within world history. Challenging post-war images are contrasted with the 1960s pop years and a sensitive view of upheavals in French society across the late 20th century.

A central character of the exhibition in its own right, Paris reveals its own perpetual transformation: physically with the changing silhouette of the city, through The Louvre’s pyramid, the innovative architecture of the Pompidou Centre and the Grande Arche of La Défense, and socially with its revolutions and minor conflicts, the actions of great men, celebrities and the anonymous man on the street.

Paris Magnum, 12 December – 28 March 2015, Paris City Hall, Salle Saint-Jean 5, Rue Lobau, Paris.

Additional information on Paris Magnum can be found at

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1. Robert Capa, Course à l’Hippodrome de Longchamp (1952). Courtesy and copyright of Robert Capa / International Center of Photography / Magnum Photos