Gourmet Fair

A Woman’s World

Membres of the CGT French labor union demonstrate for the rights of cleaning women, window washers and others in Paris on July 14th, 1936. Collection Roger-Viollet/Roger-Viollet. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France —It is a world of contrasts, of liberation, of emancipation juxtaposing the feminine and feminism. Roger-Viollet, the Left Bank gallery devoted to photography, is hosting an exhibition showcasing 20th century French women drawing on its extensive collections. The show entitled A Photographic History of Women in the 20th Century tells the tale of how women evolved from living under the protection of their fathers and then husbands to finally obtain their civic rights, including the right to work, to have a checkbook and to vote. The show brings together 86 prints which have also been brought out in limited editions of 30 for each photograph. 

Young girl in front of a Wurlitzer juke box, 1956. Photo Bernard Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

There is the elegance and opulence of the showroom of the great fashion designer Worth, considered to be the father of haute couture, women working as chimney sweeps and mechanics during World War I. There are women sitting on the terrace of a Parisian café, swimming at the chic beach resort of Deauville and demonstrating in the streets of Paris, all activities that are still popular to this day in France with only the fashions changing. 

During World War I, women swept the many chimneys of Paris, Paris, circa end of November 2017. This photograph was published in the Excelsior newspaper. Photo Excelsior-L’Equipe/Roger-Viollet. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The show runs until March 25th and follows the publication of the book, Une Histoire photographique des femmes au XXe siècle by Agnès Grossmann and published by Gründ. Roger-Violllet was founded in 1938 and was historically the photo agency of the city of Paris. Its extensive collections count no less than the 6 million photographs that have already been digitized as well as the one million photographs of the French daily newspaper France-Soir.  The gallery sells prints and rents ready-made exhibitions. International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8th. ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette. https://www.roger-viollet.fr/en

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