CHARLES AUBREY, Flower Arrangement (#15), c. 1860s


CHARLES AUBRY (French, 1811 – 1877)

Along with Adolph Braun, Charles Aubry is considered by many curators and scholars to be one of the finest floral photographers of the nineteenth century. His efforts to sell his work to designers was a commercial failure but his endurance, 100 years later, as a pioneer of early photography is testament to his talent.

An industrial designer for more than 30 years, Aubry made albumen prints of close-ups taken with a flat perspective and symmetrical arrangement inspired by the lithographic plates he used in his industrial design work. During his career, the French government was reluctant to introduce photography into art schools and French taste was shifting towards more abstract, simplified decorations for manufactured goods. His work persists to this day as a valuable model of composition and form.

Selected Collections:

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Royal Photographic Society, London, United Kingdom

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France

Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL