Francis David Collection 1540 documents dans la collection
While working at a psychiatric hospital in Chartres, Francis David met the widow of Raymond Isidore (1900-1964), whose late husband had been nicknamed “Picassiette”. Aware of the existence of décor brut and art brut due to his professional activities, David is interested in notions of freedom and the evolving aspects of works that are both total and monumental. Spurred by this discovery, he spent three weeks a year, several years running (from 1978 to 1992), travelling around France in search of gardens and houses, looking to capture the unusual with his camera, with a view to publishing a book series. His travels resulted in over fifteen thousand Kodachrome photographs of such ephemeral creations taken at a hundred and fifty locations.
The collection provides unique testimony to his inventorying of places never before identified, many of which have now disappeared. The slides provide views of architectural ensembles and portraits of artists in situ, enabling their works to be presented as fully as possible in documentary style.
During the LaM’s first art brut exhibition in 1997, a number of the artist’s photographs were exhibited in a slide show accompanied by a lecture.
Following this initial encounter with a museum dedicated to conservation and accessibility of art brut, the photographer decided to entrust it with some 2,200 of his slides so that they could be exhibited, put to good archival use as well as digitised (despite Kodachrome being a long-lasting medium). Creating a safeguard for these images and, by extension, for a whole artistic heritage, is an integral part of this project. The photographer’s work will finally be accessible, as the original publication projects never came to fruition.
- Le fonds Francis David