Tuesday, August 14, 2012

With generous funding from the Julia Child Foundation, the Schlesinger Library has recently completed a multiyear digitization project of photographs by Paul Child in the Julia Child Papers. After selecting images from nearly 30,000 photographic prints and negatives in the collection, the library has made nearly 4,000 images available in Harvard's Visual Information Access (VIA) database: http://tinyurl.com/9lv329u.

Highlights from the materials include images of Julia Child during her early cooking class days in Paris, along with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Additionally, the photographs chronicle an ambitious travel schedule, capturing Paul and Julia in France, Germany, Italy, and Scandinavia. Evocative images of fish markets and urban street scenes from Paris and Rome abound. Paul Child took most of these pictures. There are also lovely self-portraits of the Childs posing for their annual Valentine's Day cards and images of Paul with his twin brother, Charles Child. In 1950, Paul Child began to keep meticulous logbooks of each roll of film, allowing future researchers to access detailed descriptions of events, people, and places. The logbooks, along with the negatives, reveal a portrait of a full professional and private life, illuminating the varied interests of Julia and Paul Child.

Many of Julia's birthdays were celebrated in Maine at the vacation home she and Paul shared and built with his brother Charles and his family. The image above was taken by Paul Child in Maine in1964. Julia's birthday hat was made with flowers from their garden.