The Photo-Club de Paris was created by members who seceded from the Société de Francaise de Photographie including influential photographers such as Robert Demachy and Constant Puyo. In 1894 they hosted one of the most lavish and international of the artistic photographic salons of the late nineteenth century. Precedents to this had been set by the 1888 Vienna salon, followed by the Vienna salons of 1891 and 1892 and the first London (Linked Ring) salon held in 1893. Each of these groups broke away from the older established photographic societies that were primarily interested in technical rather than artistic achievement.
The first Photo-Club de Paris exhibition, the “Première Exposition d‘Art Photographique”, ran from January 10-30th, 1894. Weston Naef in his book The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz describes it this way: “The most stunning event, outdoing anything yet seen in the world of photography, was the 1894 Première Exposition d‘Art Photographique held by the Photo-Club de Paris.” Naef continues: “Winner of the sweepstakes for most works exhibited at Paris was J. Craig Annan with fifteen photographs, followed closely by René Le Bègue, with fourteen pictures. Surprisingly high in the running was Emma Justine Farnsworth, whose nine images considerably outdistanced Eickemeyer‘s seven and Stieglitz‘s three. The exhibition reflected the tastes of a jury half of which consisted of painters and sculptors, while the selection in the deluxe catalog was made by the photographers.”
The luxurious catalog from this exhibition was issued in a normal edition containing 25 photogravure plates and a deluxe edition where every plate is included twice, each printed in different colored inks. Six additional plates are also included in the deluxe edition. All of the photogravures were printed by the French lithography firm of LeMercier & Cie. While a majority of the copper plates were made by M. Fillon others were by Blechinger of Vienna, Richard Paulussen of Vienna, Paul Dujardin of Paris, James Craig Annan of Scotland. Gallery host Georges Petit of Paris made the plate for the watercolor by artist Guillaume Dubufe that introduces the portfolio as the first plate.
As this point it is uncertain why two prints of each image were included in this catalog.
Naef, Weston (1978) The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz: Fifty Pioneers of Modern Photography The Metropolitan Museum of Art / The Viking Press
Mareschal, G. : 1894: Exposition D’Art Photographique, in: La Nature: Revue Des Sciences (#1077- January 20th, 1894 -p. 126) Paris: Libraire De L’Acadêmie De Mêdecine
Verlag Des Camera-Clubs (1894) Wiener Photographische Blätter : Herausgegeben vom Camera-Club in Wien: Editor-Proffesor F. Schiffner : Vienna
Foster, Sheila J, Manfred Heiting, and Rachel Stuhlman. Imagining Paradise: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House, Rochester. Göttingen: Steidl, 2007
De Andere Fotografie de Geschiedenis van de Fotomechanische Reproductie in de Negentiende Eeuw: tentoonstelling in het Zeeuws Museum Middelburg 1989 (The Other Photography the History of Photomechanical Reproduction in the Nineteenth Century: Exhibition in the Zeeuws Museum Middelburg 1989)