Charles Aubry (French, 1811-1877) worked as an industrial designer for more than thirty years and was among those early advocates of photography who recognized the medium’s potential as an aid to art and design. When he turned to photography around 1860, he did so with an eye towards its application in the field of design, producing images of leaves, floral arrangements, still-lives, and plaster casts. Aubry’s pictures were intended as models for commercial architects and sculptors as well as for painters. He had hoped that his photographic albums would supplant the need for the actual objects themselves and provide a new kind of model-book for young artists. While Aubry’s works owe their origin to their practical intent, they are suffused with a beauty and personality that reflect the artist’s distinctive subjects and style.
The exhibition Charles Aubry, photographe was held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Galerie Colbert from 7 March – 4 May 1996.
Anne McCauley and Sylvie Aubenas, Charles Aubry, photographe (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 1996)