Photographs at Work. The reconstruction of French towns (1945-1958)

Published on 30 November 2011 - Updated 20 December 2011
Cet article date d'il y a plus de 11 ans

The exhibition “Photographs at Work” is organised jointly by Jeu de Paume and the City of Tours, in collaboration with the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing. It is on show at Château de Tours from 26 November 2011 to 20 May 2012.

A photographic department set up in 1945 at the Ministry for Reconstruction and Town-Planning (MRU) was responsible for documenting the Ministry’s activities on behalf of its Directorate for Information. Taken between 1945 and 1958, dates that marked the creation of the Ministry for Reconstruction and the end of the 4th Republic, over 33,000 photographs testify to the political and strategic concerns of the government department responsible for reconstruction after the mass destruction carried out during the Second World War. 

The exhibition presents some 160 photographs (framed black-and-white argentic prints), along with a dozen films of the day and slide-shows specially designed for the occasion. 

With regard to the Loire Valley, it includes photographs of the experimental projects implemented by the Ministry in Orleans in 1945 and after, along with photo reports carried out in Tours by the MRU’s photographic department. 

Building at the corner of Rue Bannier and Rue Colombier, block no.4, Orleans 

July 1946 © MEDDTL – MRU collection 

On the web:


CC BY-NC-SA Imola Gebauer / Mission Val de Loire


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