Albert Kahn - Combat for universal peace

Banker, philanthropist and frequent traveler

 

 

Albert Kahn of his real name Abraham Kahn born in Marmoutier, Alsace, March 3, 1860 of a wealthy Jewish family of cattle merchants without being part of the bourgeoisie.

Albert-Kahn on the balcony of his bank, 102 rue Richelieu, Paris. 1914
Albert-Kahn on the balcony of his bank, 102 rue Richelieu, Paris. 1914

He went to Paris at the age of 16 and after a few odd jobs, he joined the brothers Edmond and Charles Goudchaux.

 

In parallel with his work he resumes his higher education and passes:

In 1881 the baccalaureat in letter

In 1883 the Bachelor of Science

And in 1885 the Bachelor of Laws

 

In 1881 Albert Kahn quickly shows all his talent in business. In just 4 years he built a real fortune by speculating on the gold and diamond mines of South Africa.

 

In 1887 Already, he wrote during a correspondence to one of his friends:

 

"It's pretty good for business but, you know it's not my ideal. "

 

Which suggests an exceptional destiny to this great man,

full of ambition and kindness to humanity.

 

In 1891, he became the main associate of the Gaudchaux bank, the same one that trained him in business.

 

In 1898 he created his own banking establishment, and now specializes in financial investment to Japan. He became close to Hichiro Motono, Japan's ambassador to Paris and at the highest level of the imperial family.

May 1915: Autochrome - A Japanese Gate - Albert Kahn's Garden of Boulogne
May 1915: Autochrome - A Japanese Gate - Albert Kahn's Garden of Boulogne

 

In 1895, he buys a mansion in Boulogne sur Seine and for 15 years, will buy twenty plots and land adjacent to his property to get four acres of land where he will install gardens, a small corner of paradise at the gates of Paris .

 

All of these gardens symbolize the world in peace desired by Albert Kahn who suffered from the war. He will never stop promoting peace in his life.

 

In his gardens he regularly invites his prestigious friends:

 

Artists: Rodin, Colette, Anatole France ...

Philosophers: Henri Bergson ...

Industrials: Marcel Dassault, Antoine Lumière, André Michelin ...

Scientists and diplomats.

 

In 1898 Albert Kahn will devote his life and his fortune to the establishment of universal peace. His first patronage "Around the world":

September 1920: Autochrome - Archive of the Planet
September 1920: Autochrome - Archive of the Planet

 

This travel grant, offered to young French graduates, allows them to discover other countries to enrich their skills and their future education through direct knowledge of the world.

 

 

In 1906, he will extend this sponsorship to young graduates from Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia.

 

In 1908 Albert Kahn spent many months in Japan and China. Accompanied by an engineer Alfred Dutertre who will act as a driver-mechanic and photographer. More than 4,000 stereoscopic shots and cinematographic images around the testimony of his "journey around the world"

 

In 1909, just back home he went back to travel South America and visit Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil.

This time he will be accompanied by the first professional photographer for his crazy project of image collection "the archives of the planet".

So many testimonials.

 

"The stereoscopic photography, the projections, especially the cinematograph, that is what I would like to make work in a big way in order to fix once and for all, aspects, practices and modes of human activity, the fatal disappearance of which is more than a question of time »

 

The archives of the planet are iconographic verses of a vast project of documentations that will take other forms (documentary, publication ..) whose goal is a better understanding to prevent deadly conflicts.

 

In 1911, Albert Kahn ordered Louis Vuitton travel trunks.

Malle louis Vuitton Albert Kahn 1911 - 1929 trunk
louis Vuitton Albert Kahn 1911 - 1929

These trunks, completely sealed, are covered with a red Vuittonite canvas with a Japanese design and marked with its "flying" ornamental logo.

 

that Albert Kahn himself had calligraphed, and of which he was very proud. Three white crosses like birds that travel the world.

 

These trunks are carried by the operators during their missions and are used to transport the material photo, video and personal effects.

 

 

In 1912 he formed a team supervised by the geographer Jean Brunhes.

 

In 1929 Albert Kahn ordered a second series of trunks at Louis Vuitton.

 

But the economic crisis ends the banking and therefore philanthropic activities of Albert Kahn then aged 69. To reinject money Albert Kahn mortgages the property of Boulogne but that will not be enough, the values continuing to collapse.

1938 - Albert Kahn interviewed by a journalist in Boulogne
1938 - Albert Kahn interviewed by a journalist in Boulogne

 

In 1930, the last travel grants are awarded.

 

In 1931, the archives of the planet cease.

 

In 1932, the bank Albert Kahn is declared bankrupt, he will be targeted by several seizures and his goods sold at auction.

 

In 1936, the collections of images are bought by the department of the Seine, which leaves to the ruined mistress the enjoyment of his house in Boulogne although it no longer belongs to him.

 

In 1937, the gardens are open to the public, after a restoration by the service of water and forests.

 

In 1940, on November 14th, Albert Kahn dies in his house in Boulogne,

 

leaving behind the largest gathering of autochromes, on a glass plate dedicated to the diversity of peoples and cultures.

Albert Kahn signature
Albert Kahn signature

 

These are 72,000 autochromes and a hundred hours of films

from five continents and more than 60 countries.

 

 

"Knowledge of foreign cultures encourages respect and peaceful relations between peoples"

http://collections.albert-kahn.hauts-de-seine.fr

 

Access for all to the collection

 

 

In order to continue the work of Albert Kahn, the collection of the Archives of the Planet is available free for strictly informational, educational, cultural and scientific purposes.

> see the dedicated website

Trunk Louis Vuitton Albert Kahn

trunk louis vuitton 1911 Albert Kahn

 

Albert Kahn trunk Louis Vuitton - Vuittonite

 

Year: 1911

 

Exterior: Red Vuittonite Canvas

 

Ornamental logo on 5 sides

 

Border: black lozine

 

Corners: lacquered steel

 

Interior: beige canvas

trunk louis vuitton 1911 Albert Kahn open

 

Dimensions: 32 cm x 43 cm x 80 cm

Trunk Louis Vuitton 1929

trunk louis vuitton 1929 Albert Kahn

Albert Kahn trunk Louis Vuitton - Vuittonite

 

Year: 1929

 

Exterior: Red Vuittonite Canvas

 

Ornamental logo on 3 sides

 

Border: black lozine

 

Corners: lacquered steel

 

Interior: beige canvas

trunk louis vuitton 1929 Albert Kahn inside

 

Including a compartment with compartment for storing windows and camera.

 

Dimensions: 32 cm x 43 cm x 80 cm

trunk louis vuitton 1929 very rare Albert Kahn