ORGANISATION AND HISTORY OF THE JEAN ROUBIER HOLDINGS
Unreleased collections, 10.000 contact sheets, 100.000 negatives and several thousand original prints form the Jean Roubier Holdings.
The holdings were constituted between 1930 and 1980. Black and white for the most part, they highlight the evolution of Europe's architectural heritage and landscapes.
The photographer's grandson, Michel RAGER, his wife Marjolaine, his sisters Elizabeth and Geneviève and his mother Catherine have joined forces in order to gather, protect and make this world unique photographs collection available to the public.
The negatives 6x6, 6x9, 5.5x7.2 and 10x12.5 are for the most part currently preserved in glassine storage sheets sorted by themes and photographic campaigns.
The most sought-after have been specifically printed, allowing Jean ROUBIER to present his work to publishers.
Contact sheets generally do exist for the collection first years. They tend to become scarce around the 40's. Both prints and contact sheets are organised by countries or regions.
Jean ROUBIER does all of the prints himself.
JEAN ROUBIER IN PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
From the very beginnings of his work, Jean ROUBIER maintains a close and continued relation with the BNF, France national library. Throughout the years, the BNF photographs holdings are entrusted and enhanced with many a deposit. Over 400 original prints are currently kept there.
Meanwhile, both the BHVP, the city of Paris historical library and the Carnavalet museum endeavour to collect the photographs pertaining to the capital city, its historical and cultural heritage - especially those taken during the Liberation of Paris in 1944 (broadcast “La Parisienne d'Images”).
Today over a hundred prints are also held within the “Cabinet de la Photo”, a section of the Centre Pompidou's collection.
THE LABORATORY (Portfolios)
Jean ROUBIER has relentlessly roamed over post-war Europe.
Over a hundred art and architecture books are thus wholly illustrated by his work as photographer.
Along the fast-growing travel and leisure industry, Jean ROUBIER takes part in the creation of many tourism inclined publications. He shoots a France still profoundly rural.
Conducted between 1932 and 1939, those remarkably well-indexed photo-reportages cover the whole of France, region by region, city by city, town by town.
Does he not demonstrate the will to expose the film to landscapes still protected from the dramatic changes to come with their industrialisation?
Born into a farming family of Bourgogne, Jean ROUBIER is fascinated by agriculture.
He does a great number of photo-reportages on farm and vine work, livestock farming...
Furthermore, his involvement in the magazine “La France à table” leads him to the design of visual illustration for local produce.
When his lens is turning away from monuments and landscapes, it is to shoot deeply human portraits. With the help of the 6x6 Rolleiflex never leaving his side, he captures moments of shared intimacy.
Back in Paris, he takes on the job of portraitist in order to provide for his family.
Regular reporter of the Goncourt Prize Laureates, close friend of the French Academy member Georges Duhamel, Jean ROUBIER immortalises the great artistic and literary figures of the interwar period.
In addition, he produces numerous photo-reportages on writers’ dwellings, and the various places that have fuelled their imagination.
With the global spreading of photographic practice, the picture has infiltrated the realm of literature. Better yet, it is an inspiring influence and is steadily feeding it.
Thus Jean ROUBIER is going to closely collaborate with writers and publishers of the time on the creation of works richly illustrated.
In June, 1940, he is hurt and taken prisoner. Demobilized at the end of 1940, he takes back the portrait, refusing, under the german occupation, to collaborate in a press which is not free any more.
He participates then in the Resistance by reproducing secret plans and files. At the Liberation, Jean Roubier brings out with some journalists the first free newspaper in the office of France Soir. He is in charge by the M.L.N. to set up a new professional organization of the photography.
Jean ROUBIER leaves behind a collection of exceptional wealth.
First of all, it has been made necessary to gather in one place every one of its different items, negatives, contact sheets, prints, publications and various archives.
Indeed as Jean and Simone ROUBIER did not own the Parisian flat they were living in, the entire family had to mobilise when they passed away to prevent the collection from being scattered.
Under the impulse of the photographer’s grandson, Michel RAGER, supported by his sisters Elizabeth and Geneviève, it has been possible for each pieces of the collection to be progressively housed in a single building.
The following steps will be to digitalise the collection and make it available to the public, to restore some negatives and pursue the cataloguing work.
The association “For the conservation of the Jean Roubier Holdings” is one of the means considered for this enterprise. Its purpose is to raise the funds needed, to display and bring Jean ROUBIER’s work to the public.
The assignment of reproduction rights contributes to the economic balance of the project.
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