Anonymous from the collection

Anonymous , Foire du Trône, 1938, 7.7 x 12.8 cm

Like most museums, the Musée de l’Elysée has in its collection a certain number of works labeled “anonymous”. Little or nothing is known about the creators of these photographs. It is sometimes possible to catch a brief glimpse of the identity of these unknown photographers by means of the subject the photographic technique or the medium. Research by archivists, historians and curators occasionally sheds light on the mystery and connects a photograph with a photographer’s name. And sometimes, the term “anonymous” is a shorthand used in the necessarily unimaginative categorization of databases and encompasses collective and unsigned photographic practices. Anonymity is thus often linked to vernacular or amateur photography, a kind of photography that has until recently received little attention from institutions.

Anonymous, Trois peintres, 1947

Anonymous, Untitled, 1890 - 1900

Anonymous, Untitled, 1890 (approx. ), 11.5 x 21.7 cm

Anonymous, Untitled, 1910 - 1930, 10.4 x 6.3 cm

Anonymous, Untitled, 1920 (approx.)

Anonymous, Untitled, 1880 - 1890

Anonymes, a collaboration with HEAD, Genève

Anonymes is a joint project of the HEAD Film Department and the Musée de l’Elysée. Using photographs – often anonymous – from the collection of the Musée de l’Elysée, HEAD students tell us stories, giving free rein to the creativity and imagination that these images evoke.

A selection of these projects were screened at the Nuit des images 2015

En route vers la mer de glace

By Ilikaa Bhandari & Valentin Merz.


By Laura Morales & Alberto Martín Menacho


By Alexander Larson & Julie Bellard


By Manon Runel & Vuk Vukmanovic

La soupe au poisson

By Lucien Monot & Iris Petit

Mon Souvenir, Mon Avenir

By Sarah Linder & Teddy Lukunku


By Noémie Guibal and Antoine Chapel