Albert (Abraham) Kahn (1860 – 1940)
The man who wanted to inventory the world!
The Albert Kahn Departmental Museum is a cultural and natural gem where diversity reigns supreme!
A museum-garden that allows you to better understand the man who built this photographic and botanical work.
ALBERT KAHN and his humanist project:
At the beginning of the 20th century Albert Kahn, a banker whose career and notoriety are established in France and abroad, decides to devote his life and his fortune to his ideal of universal peace.
A man of networks and influence, the philanthropic banker created a dozen foundations intended to promote understanding between peoples and international cooperation: knowing the world to promote peace "seeing, knowing, foreseeing is Albert Kahn's motto.
Among the support funds and scholarships "Around the World" that it creates, it offers future teachers the opportunity to travel and discover the realities of the world. Fellows then share their experiences with various personalities within the Society Around the World (SAM).
"The Archives of the Planet" materializes Albert Kahn's desire to better understand humanity. The visual component of his project, he brings together approximately 72,000 autochromes, (colour plates) around a hundred hours of black and white films, 4,000 stereoscopies, a photographic technique in relief which bears witness to the various aspects of human societies.
An ethnographic project which is coupled with a singular botanical creation.
As early as 1909, Albert Kahn implemented an ambitious global visual inventory project, the Archives de la Planète, in order to record through images "the practices and lifestyles of human activity whose fatal disappearance is not more than a matter of time".
On nearly 4 hectares on his property in Boulogne-sur-Seine, Albert Kahn invented at the beginning of the 20th century an exceptional garden that echoes the diversity of the world. This plant treasure brings together French garden, English garden, blue forest, Vosges forest, Japanese garden and a greenhouse.
The philanthropic and utopian banker driven by the desire to work for a reconciled world, intended to promote understanding between peoples will be ruined after the stock market crash of 29. He sold his property in 1936 to the Seine department, but kept the right to use the premises until his death in 1940. He did not survive the outbreak of the Second World War, the third war of his life.
Today his work and the mission he had given himself, “To pass on to future generations this living cultural and natural heritage” finally takes on its full measure, it is up to us to enjoy and explore it.