A Journey to Brazil at the Marvelous Albert Kahn Museum

Exposition Rio Bueno Aires

© Albert-Kahn Departmental Museum / @museealbertkahn

A quick trip to Rio and Buenos Aires with just a swipe of your Navigo card, anyone interested? In its newly inaugurated building designed by Kengo Kuma in 2022, the Albert Kahn Departmental Museum presents a new exhibition that showcases the business trip undertaken by the extravagant banker to Latin America in 1909, featuring images of a modern Brazil, far from folkloric stereotypes. It's the perfect opportunity to take a stroll in the museum's extraordinary Japanese garden. Let's embark on this journey!

A Museum Spanning the Globe

Created by Albert Kahn himself, the museum brings together the largest collection of images in the world, aiming to educate and raise awareness among the population. This humanistic project was pursued by the banker from his early travels until the end of his life. Here, several thousand visual documents (images and films) from around the world are permanently archived, facing an immense and truly sublime garden.

Albert Kahn, fascinated by the transformation of the world, enlisted the most renowned artists (including Auguste Léon) and cutting-edge technology to create this collection. In "Rio-Buenos Aires 1909," 600 stereoscopic plates were digitized to document his journey in Latin America. This collection has made history, as it contains the earliest known color images of Brazil. Truly fascinating!

A Fresh Perspective on Latin America

Albert Kahn takes a modern approach in observing Latin America: at that time, Brazil and Argentina were undergoing significant transformation due to the massive influx of Western workers and professionals, reshaping the region. Far from tropical forests and stereotypes, Brazil becomes a cultural epicenter, equipped with paved roads and modern buildings.

This exhibition offers insight into the banker's worldview, as he had places he visited photographed during their Westernization, capturing the unique scene of an urbanizing landscape. As true archives of an era, the collected images reconstruct the changes in Rio and Buenos Aires, thus conveying a part of human history.

© Albert-Kahn Departmental Museum

Marvelous Gardens

In addition to gaining knowledge in this extraordinary place, visitors can discover 4 hectares of absolutely stunning gardens. Comprising 7 different spaces, including a French garden, an English cottage, a Japanese village, and even several forests, this peaceful haven near Paris symbolizes the coexistence of different landscapes.

With its 100% zen spirit, the garden houses numerous buildings, such as a magnificent white greenhouse with exotic plants, Japanese buildings personally acquired by Albert Kahn, a rose garden, and even a small red bridge in the Japanese style. It's a wonderful way to explore world architecture in this completely immersive mini-excursion!

"Rio-Buenos Aires 1909" exhibition at the Albert Kahn Departmental Museum from June 27th to November 19th. The museum is open throughout the summer, from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 7 pm. Tickets are priced at €8.

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