Thursday, May 26, 2011

State of the Art - 1909

The first air show at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. September 30th, 1909. Photographed in Autochrome Lumière by Léon Gimpel. Via ckck

Impossibly artistic, yet real. The Autochrome process was the first practical commercial color photographic process. Grains of dyed potato starch were sandwiched between a glass plate and a black and white emulsion. After the film exposed it was developed in a reversal process, the dyes would show the true color of the original scene.

Impossibly artistic, yet real. These early aircraft were handcrafted sculptures of wood, wire and canvas. Barely aerodynamic, they did fly however, and in a few years would become weapons of war. The balloons already had seen service for many years as observation platforms. The Montgolfier brothers balloon (a recreation of which can be seen under the large balloons) preceded this event by 126 years- further back in time from 1909 than this event is to the present.

Impossibly artistic, yet real. The Art Noveau decorations in the hall are fanciful, organic and exquisite. Truly a golden age of design. This lost age is glimpsed imperfectly yet beautifully, even in monchrome the net effect seems nearer a dream than reality:

By Professor Batty


Anonymous Caroline said...

I really like this photo. Has a Jules Verne touch... Wonderful.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

I can hardly believe that this show ever existed!

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