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Moulin (Félix) photographs of Algerians
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Collection Overview
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The collection comprises twenty-one albumen photographs of Algerians taken by French photographer Félix Moulin during his eighteen-month trip to Algeria from 1856 to 1857. Included are portraits of Algerian chiefs, holy men, scholars, musicians and dancers, fishermen, and water carriers. Also included are a few portraits of French administrators in Algeria.
The French photographer, Félix-Jacques-Antoine Moulin was born in 1802. Little is known regarding his training as a photographer, but by 1849 Moulin was selling daguerreotypes of nudes from his Paris studio at 31 bis rue du Faubourg Montmartre. Purportedly created as academy or nude studies for use by artists, Moulin's images seemed to have had a wider audience and his sitters were often teenage girls. In 1851, his premises along with those of Jules Malacrida, an optician and dealer, and Mme. veuve René, another daguerreotypist, were raided. The three were tried together for the possession and sale of "obscene objects" in a closed-door session of the Cour d'assises de la Seine. Moulin was sentenced to a month in prison and fined 100 francs. After his release Moulin reopened his studio using another entrance that went through 23, rue Richer. Throughout his career Moulin continued to produce and exhibit female nudes, protecting himself by placing copies of them on legal deposit at the Bibliothèque Impériale, Paris, and action which signaled that his photographs were not intended as erotica but as studies meant to be used by artists.
1 Linear Feet (21 photographs)
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