Cover: 1896 Exposition d’Art Photographique Salon Catalogue

1896 Exposition d’Art Photographique Salon Catalogue

This group set for the 1896 Exposition d’Art Photographique Salon catalogue features all four photogravures issued and select individual pages.


For the third annual Salon hosted in 1896 by the Photo-Club de Paris, a deluxe exhibition catalogue was published featuring four hand-pulled photogravures. Issued in French wraps, it featured as cover art a maiden holding out a sunflower bloom standing next to a grouping of sunflower plants by French artist Edme Couty as a multiple-color lithograph. Printed on laid paper, the majority of the 76 page catalogue is devoted to an international, alphabetical listing of 223 individual photographers whose work- 635 frames in all- was accepted and hung in the Salon by an 11-member jury.

Held at the Galerie des Champs-Élysées in Paris from May 12-31, 1896, the Salon catalogue includes a three-page overview of the exhibition signed by Robert Demachy and separate pages for rules of admission; (Règlement) jury members; (Jury d’Admission) and an abbreviation (Abréviations) page outlining 19 separate print processes used by the accepted entrants. (albumen, bromide, platinum, gum bichromate, etc.)

Twenty pages of advertising matter and several other pages promoting publications for purchase issued by the Photo-Club de Paris were also included. These are:

– a description of the monthly Bulletin du Photo-Club de Paris-advertised as being available for purchase as full-year volumes (1891-1895) for 15 francs each.

– the Album de l’Exposition d’Art Photographique -lavish, limited-edition portfolios of hand-pulled photogravures for the 1896 Salon priced at 75 francs for those 30 examples printed on Japan paper and 35 francs for copies of 470 printed on Marais plate paper. Also available for purchase were a limited number of portfolios from the first (1894) and second year (1895) Salons at 50 francs each.

– A limited-edition lithographic poster-a variant of the maiden depicted in the exhibition catalogue cover art by Edme Coute, which included specifics like dates, location of exhibit, etc. Conveniently, the editors published a reduced version of this poster, seen here as a photogravure plate from the limited-edition portfolio to the 1896 exhibition, in the catalogue itself. Described as: Réduction de l’Affiche murale de M. E. Couty., it is printed in red ink and used as the frontispiece opposite the title page.

Patrons to the exhibit could purchase this poster described in the catalogue as:

Un tirage d’exemplaires d’amateur a été fait, tant de la couverture du Catalogue que de l’affiche murale de L’Expositon, dessinées par M. Ed. Couty.

Poster dimensions were approximately 50 x 36″: a “double colombier 70 x 180” -and available for purchase in the following formats and limitations at the offices of the Photo-Club de Paris located at 40, rue des Mathurins in Paris as well as the Galerie des Champs-Élysées:

-25 examples on Japan paper at 10 francs each
-50 examples on “strong paper” (papier fort) at 5 francs each
-50 examples on deluxe paper (papier de luxe) at 10 francs each

Note: the multiple-color lithograph used as the 1896 catalogue cover art was additionally featured in a slightly different typographic format as cover artwork for the monthly Bulletin du Photo-Club de Paris issues from at least 1896-1898.