The collection contains over 18,000 photographic negatives, 1,700
color slides, and 1,200 transparencies taken by Lucien Hervé, Le Corbusier's official
photographer. Organized by project, this photographic material includes both Hervé's
original negatives and copys negatives from the work of other photographers who have
documented Le Corbusier's architectural projects. Subjects include Le Corbusier's executed
buildings, unrealized architectural designs, and non-architectural works, such as paintings,
tapestries, and sculptures. The collection also contains hundreds of portraits of Le
Corbusier, both formal and informal.
One of the most prominent architectural photographers of the twentieth century, Lucien
Hervé created a body of work, inspired by a Modernist philosophy, that remains uniquely
identifiable. His tightly cropped images, in high contrast, offering oblique views, and
often favoring the shadows cast by a form over an investigation of the form itself place an
emphasis on mood, and on providing the viewer access to the transcendental nature of
structure. Although Hervé worked with many of the influential architects of the twentieth
century, his fifteen-year collaboration with architect Le Corbusier defines his career.
Hervé served as Le Corbusier's official photographer from 1949 until the architect's death