French Photography

Composite technique photo from the 1880s of a pole vaulter.

Pole vault: Scientist Étienne Jules Marey was interested in movement and used photography to document his research. He created a camera, or photographic gun, which enabled him to capture a moving subject in twelve consecutive poses. (Image is in the public domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2014



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course introduces students to the world of French photography from its invention in the 1820s to the present. It provides exposure to major photographers and images of the French tradition, and encourages students to explore the social and cultural roles and meanings of photographs. The class is designed to help students navigate their own photo-saturated worlds and provides an opportunity to gain practical experience in photography. Taught in English.

Related Content

Catherine Clark. 21G.049 French Photography. Fall 2014. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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