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Photo exhibition Robert Doisneau, the Spirit of Resistance

The Museum of the National Resistance in Champigny-sur-Marne opens its doors to pay a vibrant tribute to the essential photographer Robert Doisneau.

The alliance between the Association of Friends of the Museum of the Resistance in Champigny-sur-Marne (AAMRN) and the Atelier Robert Doisneau gives birth to the captivating exhibition "Robert Doisneau, the spirit of Resistance" . This retrospective will reveal the unwavering links between the photographer and the Resistance, from his role as a forger during the Occupation to his generous donation to the museum in 1985.


Date: October 15 2023 to April 28, 2024

Location: National Resistance Museum in Champigny-sur-Marne

Desire: Photo, Doisneau, Resistance, Humanism


If Robert Doisneau is internationally acclaimed as a master of the lens, his role as a forger remains largely unknown. However, his skills as a photographer and engraver were used to create false documents for the benefit of the Resistance, thus protecting many people persecuted by the Vichy regime and the occupier. Working in the shadows throughout the war, Doisneau only met the anonymous heroes of the Resistance at the Liberation, thereby discovering his affiliation with Roger Vailland's network.


Robert Doisneau Spirit of resistance
Robert Doisneau Spirit of resistance

A privileged witness to life under the Occupation and the Liberation of Paris, Doisneau's photos contributed to shaping the images of the Resistance in the collective imagination. After the Liberation, he highlighted the involvement of clandestine printers in a series for the magazine Le Point in 1944-1945. The exhibition will pay tribute to "little hands" who helped to spread the ideas of the Resistance, immortalized by the reconstructed gestures of Doisneau. The memorial challenge is colossal, and for this humanist photographer, it was about bearing witness to the daily life of Parisians during and after this dark period.


Through Doisneau's photos and personal artifacts, visitors will immerse themselves in the world of film photography. The possibilities offered by devices such as the Rolleiflex, with which he made his famous self-portrait in 1947, allowed him to document reports of striking truth.

Finally, the exhibition will highlight Robert Doisneau's contribution to the recognition of photography as a professional and artistic practice, alongside photographers of the "humanist" movement. Despite the imperatives of commissions which marked his career, Doisneau managed to capture more personal photos during his wanderings in the Parisian streets, stubbornly exploring the places "where there is nothing to see", thus accumulating the images that have forged its success.


"Robert Doisneau, the spirit of Resistance" is a tribute to the memory of the photographer, the resistance fighter, but above all the man he was: simple, modest, full of humor, humanist and committed. Whether as a spectator or participant, Doisneau immortalized, in accordance with his personality and his convictions, the Resistance against the Occupation and during the Liberation. The spirit of Resistance which marked his work and his journey continues today through his daughters, Annette Doisneau and Francine Deroudille, who perpetuate the legacy through the Atelier Robert Doisneau.


Date: October 15 2023 to April 28, 2024

Location: National Resistance Museum in Champigny-sur-Marne

Desire: Photo, Doisneau, Resistance, Humanism

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