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Photographic collection

Since its creation, the mahJ has devoted many exhibitions to photography and has built up a rich collection of nearly 8,000 prints.

Helmar Lerski, Pionniers

Helmar Lerski
années 1930

This collection is made up of significant sets of renowned photographers, such as Helmar Lerski (450 prints and negatives), Nathan Lerner (350 prints), Patrick Zachmann (300 prints), Robert Capa and Leonard Freed. The collection also includes investigations on the life of various Jewish communities, in Turkey, Romania (Laurence Salzmann), Iran (Pierre Abensur), Ethiopia (François Margolin), India (Frédéric Brenner), but also in France, such as the "Rencontres" series by Didier Ben Loulou or the exploration of the rue des Rosiers district by Alécio de Andrade. There are also studies on architectural and cultural heritage, such as the thousand photos of old synagogues and cemeteries taken in Ukraine by Marc Sagnol around 1990.


Patrick Zachmann
© Patrick Zachmann / Magnum Photos, 2022


Historic photography is also well represented, with in particular the many portraits and landscapes in North Africa, from the end of the 19th century to the 1930s (Jean Besancenot), as well as in the Near East and in Palestine (Félix Bonfils, Peter Bergheim …). There are also very rich iconographic sets on the history of the Jews of France (archives on the Dreyfus Affair), on the Paris school (Lipchitz funds, Fenster funds), and numerous private funds which retrace through images the history of Jewish families in France and elsewhere.

Jean Besancenot, Heder (école juive)

Jean Besancenot, Heder (école juive)

Jean Besancenot, photo © mahJ © Adagp