AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXVII , No. 1, Spring 2005

  Joliot-Curie Photo Exhibit in Paris

High-voltage equipment in Frederic Joliot-Curie's Joliot's Laboratoire de synthèse atomique [Laboratory for Atomic Synthesis], Ivry-sur-Seine, part of an exhibit mounted this summer in Paris. The picture was taken in 1942 during the German occupation, around the time Joliot secretly joined the French Resistance. Photo copyright atelier Robert Doisneau, courtesy Musée de arts et metiers.

To satisfy the needs of magazine and book publishers for illustrations, Robert Doisneau visited Irène and Frederic Joliot-Curie at their laboratories on several occasions between 1942 and 1956. Most of the resulting photographs lay forgotten in the archives, but close to a hundred have been recovered for an exhibit in Paris, including 27 original prints and numerous contact sheets. Many supporting documents are also on display, including the Cyclotron Diaries from 1941 to 1947, and contributions from old associates of the Joliot-Curies.

The exhibit, "Doisneau chez les Joliot-Curie. Un photographe au pays des physiciens," shows the activities of the pair of "radioactivists" in their laboratories at the Institut Curie, at the CNRS, at the CEA and at the Collège de France during a period of rapid scientific development, and it also displays Doisneau's considerable skills in recording and dramatizing these developments.

Open 31 May to 16 October 2005, Tues-Sun. 10am-6pm at the Musée des arts et métiers, 60, rue Réamur, Paris III (Metro Arts et métiers or Réaumur-Sébastopol). See

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