Issue #205  8/16/2014
Summertime in Europe: Events, Exhibitions, Auctions and Bievres

By Alex Novak

After taking a hiatus last year, I was back in Europe for my regular summer buying trip. This is the time of year--besides November during Paris Photo--that the Photo World turns towards Europe. It is almost overwhelming with multiple photo exhibits, auctions, and major events such as Bievres, Arles and Art Basel—just to mention a few of the goings-on.

Those of you who are members or close followers of my LinkedIn group on "Vintage Photography" got to see my posts on some of the action—bad, inaccurate typing and all. But for those of you not following this group, I will give a bit more details on that May-June trip and the events in Europe and largely Paris during this time.

My dessert at L'Amourette
My dessert at L'Amourette

There is always a lot of work for me in Paris, although it is also a pleasure to spend time with my friends, most of whom are in the Photo World too. My first weekend in Paris was a busy one. After previewing some important images privately with Serge Kakou, who was formerly the expert at Tajan auction house, Serge invited me to a pleasant lunch at the very good Pierrot. Pierrot is at 18, rue Etienne Marcel in the 2nd arrondissement (phone: +33 1 45 08 00 10), around the corner from Serge's apartment. Traditional and excellent French cuisine served with friendliness.

On Sunday I got the chance to visit with my other friend Serge—Plantureux—at his new work studio in Montreuil, which is a quick 20-minute Metro ride from my apartment near the Hotel De Ville. Studios Robespierre is at 71 rue Robespierre, 93100 Montreuil. I met Serge outside the third floor studio. He and his family had just come back from a visit to the newly reopened zoo, which is quite nearby. After a brief viewing and picking up a dozen or so images here, we adjourned with book dealer extraordinaire Charles Woods III and met up with Serge's family at Restaurant L'Amourette, which is just a block away.

L'Amourette is one of those on-the-edge-of-Paris restaurants that are worth the trip. The chefs who work the kitchen are Patrick Hun and Pascal Dupire. One trained at the Ritz and the other at l'Ambassade d'Auvergne. The fresh block foie gras is marvelous, but then so is the rest of the food. The atmosphere is turn of the century. A lovely meal in good company here at 54 Rue Robespierre, 93100 Montreuil (phone: +33 1 48 59 99 94). It is closed for August, but will reopen in September.

We also got the chance to stop by and see Philippe Jacquier of Lumiere des Roses, which is very nearby Serge Plantureux's Montreuil location. Some of you might know of Philippe through his eclectic stand at Paris Photo or his equally quirky and magical catalogues. He has a very nice gallery at 2-14 Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, making it all the more reason to come out here to Montreuil. More on Philippe later.

Novak has over 48 years experience in the photography-collecting arena. He is a long-time member and formally board member of the Daguerreian Society, and, when it was still functioning, he was a member of the American Photographic Historical Society (APHS). He organized the 2016 19th-century Photography Show and Conference for the Daguerreian Society. He is also a long-time member of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers, or AIPAD. Novak has been a member of the board of the nonprofit Photo Review, which publishes both the Photo Review and the Photograph Collector, and is currently on the Photo Review's advisory board. He was a founding member of the Getty Museum Photography Council. He is author of French 19th-Century Master Photographers: Life into Art.

Novak has had photography articles and columns published in several newspapers, the American Photographic Historical Society newsletter, the Photograph Collector and the Daguerreian Society newsletter. He writes and publishes the E-Photo Newsletter, the largest circulation newsletter in the field. Novak is also president and owner of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, a private photography dealer, which sells by appointment and has sold at exhibit shows, such as AIPAD New York and Miami, Art Chicago, Classic Photography LA, Photo LA, Paris Photo, The 19th-century Photography Show, Art Miami, etc.