Days of war 1914-1918 - 120 photographs from the Excelsior newspaper archive
An exhibition by Parisienne de Photographie at the Orangerie du Sénat, jardin du Luxembourg.
The exhibition explores an extraordinary photographic collection, which has been rediscovered following its recent digitisation: the Excelsior archive.
Excelsior, a daily French newspaper founded in 1910 was one of the first French press titles to extensively use photography as illustration. From the general mobilisation to the Armistice, from military operations to daily life at the rear, the paper's talented photo-reporters chronicled the Great War in a vivid, empathic manner.
The exhibition displays 120 large format photographs – most of which had not been shown since their initial publication in the newspaper's pages – presented in a chronological order.
Battles and military actions, although evoked, are not the focus of the exhibition: the images document how deeply the conflict permeated all aspects of French life:
Life at the front of course, with the massive movements of troops, and the omnipresence of International and colonial soldiers, but also at the rear, in daily, economic, political and cultural life, with such recurring themes as the war effort, the role of women, the influx of refugees, the mutual aid and solidarity movements, the progresses of medicine, the contribution of the foreign workforce or the splendor of the national celebrations.
15 facsimiles of the Excelsior front pages create a historical timeline of major events parallel to the progression of the exhibition.
Until June 7th, an authentic « Taxi de la Marne », a symbol of the whole French society's involvement in the conflict will also be on display.
The Exhibition, produced by Parisienne de Photographie is supported by the City of Paris, the Fédération Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne and Caisse d'Epargne Ile de France-Paris, the Mission Centenaire, newspapers L'Equipe and Le Parisien Magazine.
Orangerie du Sénat, Jardin du Luxembourg
Access porte Férou, rue de Vaugirard
Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 7pm, free entrance
Fifth day of mobilization in Paris. Departure of the 5th infantry regiment, it is one of the oldest regiment of the French army (created in 1558). Soldiers are wearing their identification tags. Paris, on August 6, 1914.
© Caudrilliers / Excelsior - L’Equipe / Roger-Viollet
- Our Story behind the pictures: World War One in the archives of the newspaper Excelsior
- Our Story within the story: Exhibition Days of war at the Orangerie du Sénat: the pictures showing Paris