Toujours Paris: Through the Eyes of the French Humanist Movement

Using the French Humanist movement of the 1930s as its inspiration, Peter Fetterman Gallery is excited to announce its Toujours Paris exhibition featuring a curated collection of artists including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Louis Stettner, and Martine Franck, among others. 

French humanist photographers produced a new vision of the world that lived between realism and poetry, creating a movement focused on the everyday human experience by capturing personal anecdotes and spontaneous moments of daily life. French humanist photography greatly impacted the cinema and literature of the immediate post-war period and it’s artistic current traveled through till the late 1960s. Even today, French humanism retains its strength and dignity in contemporary art at a time when humanism is needed more than ever. Between photo-journalism and picturesque paintings of society, humanist photography is a superb witness of personalities and customs, revealing the beauty behind the banal. 


The photographs of French humanist pioneers, such as Robert Doisneau, Édouard Boubat, Brassaï, and Willy Ronis, fed the newspapers and magazines of the era and are still celebrated and emulated today. These artworks, charged with emotion, have the undeniable documentary value of authenticity and simultaneously celebrate a nostalgic aesthetic that often romanticizes the French way of life. Over the years, this duality has particularly attracted serious collectors of the style.


Today the works of these artists continue to awe audiences with endearing views into the everyday life of post-war France. These works have been exhibited internationally in nearly every major institution and continue to garner praise and provide inspiration to a modern generation of artists and collectors alike.