Creating Albert Kahn et les archives de la planÃ¨te (1909)
An Endeavour to Document Buildings and Cultures
At the beginning of the 20th century, the French banker Albert Kahn commissioned his photographers to travel around the world in order to document a variety of cultures. This project, developed before World War I, was intended to perform a mission of peace: bringing the outside world closer to home. In order to achieve peace and understanding, Kahn sought to show several cultures through which the knowledge of peoples, landscapes, and monuments could be shared. The result is an ethnographic collection of thousands of colour photos characterized by the auto chrome process of the brothers, August and Louis Lumière. Kahn developed a huge photo archive, which is better known as Les Archives de la Planète. His photographers took photos of people in traditional clothing, historical monuments and scenes of everyday life in many countries of Europe, Asia and Africa. This photograph shows Stephane Passet and was taken in Mongolia, near Ulaanbaatar, on 17th July 1913.