Some of the most popular postcards of Paris during the 1950s and 1960s featured the black and white photography of Albert Monier. His images of Paris are less populated than those of Doisneau. He had a special empathy for the men of the working class and those even poorer, and when people do appear in his photography, they are more likely to be homeless or extremely poor than to be nattily dressed and smooching in front of the Hôtel de Ville. In fact, in the one photograph in this exhibit where couples are shown kissing under a bridge, at the end of line of lovers is a homeless man. Paris has changed much since the 1950s, the men labeled “clochards” in these photos would never be called that in the politically correct jargon of today (where SDF or “sans domicile fixe,” “without a fixed address” would be the preferred term). However, this window on an old world is a pleasant way to spend the afternoon and become acquainted with a photographer well deserving of our consideration.
Monier worked outside the established world of commercial printing, creating his own postcards on photographic paper in his own lab. Using a small number of images, he managed to gain a popular foothold in the world of postcard photography.