Paris, Hôtel de Sully


After her first voyage to Martinique, Guadeloupe and Haiti in 1948 to join the celebration for the centenary of the abolition of slavery (1848-1948) with Aimé Césaire, Denise Colomb returned to the West Indies in 1958 on an assignment from the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. These two travels resulted in the most important thematic ensemble – 9,100 photos – in the photographer's collection. Colomb photographed everyday life such as schools, markets and bars, economic life surrounding ports and sugar cane plantations, as well as local customs including street games, dance, carnivals and baptisms.

Comprising vintage prints lent by the Médiathèque du Patrimoine, which conserves Denise Colomb's donation to the French state in 1991, and by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, this exhibition features some 130 framed photographs. Most of them have not been shown to the public since 1949 when Colomb had her first exhibition at the Minotaure Gallery, Paris. The exhibition also includes books, magazines and personal notes, as well as a projection of color photographs taken in 1958.


September 29, 2009 – December 27, 2009
62, rue Saint-Antoine
75004 Paris, France
T. +33 (0)1 42 74 47 75