In 1900, the Brooklyn Museum‘s first curator William Henry Goodyear traveled to the Paris Exposition — a celebration of the past century’s achievements, highlighting cutting edge art, science, and technology. Fifty million visitors witnessed the first full-screen projections of several films (with sound), experienced the first moving walkway, saw the emergence of a style that would become known as art nouveau, and much more.
Goodyear brought photographer/colorist Joseph Hawkes with him for the six-week trip, in order to capture a slice of Parisian life and scenes from the World’s Fair for people in the States. Traveling to Europe wasn’t unheard of at the time, but many folks still couldn’t make the trip. Once they returned, Goodyear conducted a series of lectures, where he showcased a collection of colored lantern slides that brought the normally grainy, black and white images to life. At that time there was no color photography or film, so the tinted highlights added an exciting dimension to the images.
The effect is largely the same for viewers today, as you’ll see in our gallery past the break. The colorization creates a beautiful bejeweled, watercolor-type fluidity, making something like a normal street scene appear absolutely dreamy.
Champ de Mars and Eiffel Tower