• Photo of the week - January 23, 2015

    By Rachael Woodson

    This week's photograph was taken at the French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle's (1930-2002) current show at Le Grand Palais in Paris. The piece photographed, La Cabeza, is a giant skull covered with colored mirrors and stones that is large enough to walk into. The message the artist wanted to send with this work, which is reminiscent of Day of the Dead imagery, was hopeful - "La mort n'existe pas, life is eternal".

    Last Updated ( Friday, 23 January 2015 )
  • Photo of the week - January 16, 2015

    By Rachael Woodson

    This week's photo was taken during Sunday's rally in support of victims of the recent attacks in Paris. According to the Minister of the Interior, this was the largest demonstration ever witnessed in France, with an estimated 3.7 million people participating. The marche républicaine moved along boulevard Voltaire from place de la République toward place de la Nation. A second route followed boulevard de Ménilmontant to avenue Philippe-Auguste also in Paris' 11eme, the arrondissement that is home to Charlie Hebdo's offices.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 January 2015 )
  • Photo of the Week - January 9, 2015

    By Rachael Woodson

    This week's photo was taken on Wednesday night at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, where thousands gathered to protest the attack of three Islamist gunmen on Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper, which occurred earlier that day. Yesterday, the remaining staff announced that they would continue the weekly publication. Next week's edition will be printed in a increased run of one million copies.

    Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 January 2015 )
  • Photo of the Week - January 2, 2015

    By Rachael Woodson

    For the first photo of 2015, I selected an image that was part of an album of WWI postcards and photographs belonging to Nurse Margaret Ripley. This photograph was taken in the Luxembourg Garden in January 1915, and shows three English nurses (E.M. Lear, W.A. Todd and M.A. Ripley). The three were part of the French Flag Nursing Corps, a program that provided certified British nurses (preferably French speaking) for service in French military hospitals.

    Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 January 2015 )
  • Photo of the Week - December 26, 2014

    By Rachael Woodson

    This striking photograph, for which the caption reads Vallée de Chamonix - Traversée de la Mer de Glace (Chamonix Valley - Crossing the sea of ice), was taken between 1902 and 1904 near the popular winter sports destination Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. The town, which borders Switzerland and Italy was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924, and the place has been known as a tourist destination since the early 19th century.

    Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 December 2014 )
  • Photo of the Week - December 19, 2014

    By Rachael Woodson

    This week's photo comes just in time for the opening of la patinoire (ice skating rink) that is set up annually in front of Paris' Hôtel de Ville. Open from December 19 2014 - March 1 2015, la patinoire is free to skate, and offers skate rentals at 6€. There is a large rink that measures 1356 m2, along with a smaller one for beginners and kids. Open most nights until 10pm, it's in a beautiful location just in front of Paris' majestic city hall, which has been the site of the city's municipality since 1357.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 20 December 2014 )
  • Photo of the Week - December 12, 2014

    By Rachael Woodson

    This week's photo was taken during a 1965 production of Tchaïkovski's Casse-noisette (The Nutcracker) at l'Opéra de Paris. The ballet was based on Alexandre Dumas' adaptation of E. T. A. Hoffman's 1816 novella The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, and premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on December 18, 1892. Tchaïkovski composed parts of the ballet in Rouen, France. Fifty years after this photo was taken, one can still see the iconic ballet at l'Opéra de Paris from the end of November until the end of December.

    Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 December 2014 )
  • Photo of the Week - December 5, 2014

    By Rachael Woodson

    This week's photo is from Jules et Jim, one of French new wave cinema's seminal films by director François Truffaut. Released in 1962, the film was based on Henri-Pierre Roché's 1953 semi-autobiographical novel about his relationship with writer Franz Hessel (who inspired Jules) and Helen Grund, whom Hessel later married. The Cinémathèque Francaise is currently doing an exhibition on Truffaut's work, thirty years after his death at the age of 52. The exhibit retraces Truffaut's journey through archives given to the Cinémathèque, and is up until February 8th, 2015.

    Last Updated ( Tuesday, 09 December 2014 )
  • Photo of the Week - November 28, 2014

    By Rachael Woodson

    This year, I've noticed quite a few storefronts publicizing Thanksgiving day necessities. This photo is a prime example, capturing a butcher's window that reads "Pour Thanksgiving, Dinde sur Commande!" (For Thanksgiving, turkey to order). The épicerie 'Thanksgiving' in the marais is the place to go for stocking up on all Thanksgiving dinner ingredients. Harry's Bar, the oldest American bar in Paris (they recently celebrated their 100th anniversary) does a special Thanksgiving day lunch, with a menu of pumpkin soup, club sandwiches, cole slaw, pecan pie and brownies.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 28 November 2014 )
  • Photo of the Week - November 21, 2014

    By Rachael Woodson

    Here is a photograph that was taken during the French artist Daniel Buren's installation Excentrique(s) in 2012. The show was part of the series Monumenta, for which a contemporary artist is invited to create a piece inside Le Grand Palais each year. Buren installed a canopy of 377 multi-colored circular shapes, accompanied by mirrors which reflected the colored light, under which visitors could explore. The artist designed the installation over the course of two years, and the on site implementation took seven days. Light, air and volume are at the source of the work, as is the dichotomy between intimate and public space.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 21 November 2014 )
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