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79 rue des archives © Cyrille Weiner
79 rue des archives © Cyrille Weiner

4 November, 2017

2018: The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson is expanding


Press Release

Right bank

In the autumn of 2018, the Foundation created by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Franck and their daughter Mélanie Cartier-Bresson will be opening a new space at 79 rue des Archives in the Marais district in Paris.
The new premises, a former converted garage, will offer better options for exhibitions and conservation:

  • more than double the floor space and more flexible layout, at street level,
  • improved archive storage and conservation conditions, with the collection of archives currently spread over three sites and better reception facilities for researchers.

This new tool will also enable the development of mediation and education activities and meetings or conferences in a more comfortable setting, based on what Olympus’s support for the last ten years has made possible.
The space designed by architects from the Novo agency will make the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation part of the cultural densification of the Marais, Beaubourg and Les Halles areas, undoubtedly unparalleled in Europe.


The primary mission of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation is preserving the heritage of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martine Franck, and hosting and programming exhibitions of other photographers or artists using photography. The Prix Henri Cartier-Bresson, backed by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, is designed to support the creativity so precious to its founders.

With the expanded floor area, it will now be possible to offer a more active insight into contemporary experimentation, while pursuing the exploration of the history of the medium. The values of rigour, curiosity and creative freedom that characterised Henri Cartier-Bresson from his youth will continue to be the driving force behind exhibition choices.

An educational programme and international initiatives to promote the wider distribution of the two Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martine Franck funds and quality photography will be developed in the coming years.


To develop this project, François Hébel, former director of Magnum Photos and Les Rencontres d’Arles, founder of Foto/Industria Bologne and Le Mois de la photo du Grand Paris in particular, will be joining the Foundation’s team as managing director from 2 November 2017.

Agnès Sire, who has been responsible for the Foundation’s impressive development since it began, wanted to be released from its daily operation to devote herself to its artistic direction and curating exhibitions.

This duo has already had many opportunities to work together on cultural projects produced at Magnum in the 90s, for the group as well as for photographers individually.

The current premises at L’impasse Lebouis, purchased as a base for the Foundation (which have never been a place to live or work for the Cartier-Bressons), will be sold to finance this move, the Franck family participating in the creation of a research library in the 79 rue des Archives premises.

Kristen van Riel, chairman of the Foundation since the death of Martine Franck, who has orchestrated this move to the new premises, joins the board of directors in expressing his delight at these new developments and additions to the team.


English translation provided with the partial patronage of

 Agence THOMAS-HERMES with style, Paris