Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP)
October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment
Photographs and text by Minny Lee
Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP) is a premium photography museum in Paris, France that houses extensive collections of photography related prints, books and films. The current building was built in 1706 as the residence for Hénault de Cantobre, the chief tax collector. Sometime thereafter, it was converted to a hotel and then, in 1914, became the property of the city of Paris. The building was restored and a new wing was added later which now extends into the street, Rue de Fourcy where the main entrance to MEP can be found. Its facade, ironwork and central staircase reflect neo-classical architecture.
Images in this series were made in November 2010. Through the Reflexions Materclass’s Institutional Work Program, I was granted three days to photograph within the MEP. I visited the collections department, restoration center, exhibition floors, and library. These places retained and evinced remnants of mastery craft and care for photographic medium. My journey began by imagining how the first owner of the place would revisit the place today and what he would find. I found details of the interior evoked mystery and intimacy. The gloomy weather of Paris in November created a melancholic mood. It also reflected my state of mind and physical condition at that time.