Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Online Media

Catalog Data

Creator:
Bonney, M. Thérèse (Mabel Thérèse), 1897-1978  Search this
Names:
Bonney Service  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Bonney, M. Thérèse (Mabel Thérèse), 1897-1978  Search this
Extent:
4,300 Photographs (black and white)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Black-and-white photographs
Date:
1925-1937
Summary:
This collection contains4,300 black and white photographs that document architecture and design in Paris from 1925-1937.These silver-gelatin prints, mostly 8 x 10, depicting French industrial art objects, interior settings, and window displays were amassed by Bonney who lived most of her life in Paris. Many of the photographs were done by Bonney. She collected others from news agencies, photographers, and stock photograph vendors. Many of the photographs are accompanied by captions composed in a conversational manner by Bonney.
Arrangement note:
Photographs are arranged by subject. Each box is labeled as to contents.
Biographical/Historical note:
Photojouralist. Born Syracuse, New York, 1897. She studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Radcliffe College in the 1910s. Bonney immigrated to France in 1919 where she became on of the first ten women to graduate from the Sorbonne. She founded the first American illustrated press service in Europe, the Bonney Service, in 1924. By the late 1930s, Bonney became discouraged by the poor quality of the work of the photographers she employed, and decided to learn the art of photography herself. The subjects of her photographs ranged from individual objects to interior settings to window displays to major building complexes and focused on the impact of modernism on European design. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Bonney organized a number of exhibitions and collaborated with her sister, Louise Bonney, on a series of guide books, including "Buying Antique and Modern Furniture in Paris". With the coming of World War II, Bonney took to documenting civilian life in Europe. She published two photo-essay books, "War comes to the People" (1940) and "Europe's Children" (1943). Her concept for a film about children displaced by war, became an Academy Award winning movie, "The Search" (1948). The museum's collection of photographs was the subject of Cooper-Hewitt's 1985 exhibition, "Paris Recorded: The Therese Bonney Collection."
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
New York Public Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Section. Photographs of views of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and New York. The bulk of the photographs are of French landscapes, architecture, costume, and everyday life.
University of California at Berkeley, The Bancroft Library. Scrapbooks, clippings, testimonials and other materials relating to Bonney's photographic work, circa 1919-1977.
Radcliffe College, Schlesinger Library. Biographical material, correspondence, photographs, and information about the Women's Land Army and the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps, dating from 1931-1964.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.Assorted photographs of Bonney, many documenting important events in her life.
Provenance:
This collection was given to Cooper-Hewitt, then the Cooper Union Museum, in 1939 by the Bonney family.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.
Occupation:
Photographers -- France -- Paris  Search this
Topic:
Architectural photography -- France -- Paris  Search this
Furniture -- France -- Paris  Search this
Furniture -- Pictorial works  Search this
Interior decoration -- France -- Paris  Search this
Interior decoration -- Pictorial works  Search this
Show windows -- Pictorial works  Search this
Photography -- Archives  Search this
Photography -- France -- Paris  Search this
Genre/Form:
Black-and-white photographs
Identifier:
SIL-CH.2000-42-1
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sil-ch-2000-42-1