Introduction: Citizen Khan (02:08)
Albert Khan wanted to record the world's memory and encourage a dialogue between cultures. (Credits)
Khan's Background (03:55)
Khan began his career as a bank clerk and became an associate. He was born to a Jewish Alsatian family in 1860; visits to the market helped build his business sense. At age 16, he moved to Paris, worked, and studied with Henri Bergson.
Financial Success (03:47)
In 1895, Khan purchased a mansion and four plots of land; his garden was triumphant. Khan’s South African investments increased, but his wealth was not fulfilling. He traveled to the Far East and returned with a desire promote tolerance and dialogue between cultures.
World Exposure (04:49)
In 1898, Khan established a bank and the Albert Kahn Traveling Fellowship; travelers recorded cultures and colonial systems. Khan hosted various events in his gardens. The grounds include two elaborate Japanese areas, formal classical areas, and Vosges forests.
Visually Documenting the World (03:07)
Alfred Dutertre accompanied Khan on a business trip to take stereoscopic photographs. After their return in 1909, Khan built a photo lab to develop the shots.
Color Photography (03:22)
Khan attended a Jules Gervais-Courtellemont conference and became fascinated with autochrome. Photographer Auguste Leon accompanied Khan during his travels to record the world's memory; Khan also hired Stéphane Passet.
Archives of the Planet (04:02)
Khan, Leon, and Passet began the project to capture images of human activity; Jean Brunhes provided scientific structure. In 1912, Leon and Brunhes traveled through the Balkans.
Archives of the Planet: China (04:48)
Passet traveled alone to the far reaches of the country, capturing structured and spontaneous images of human activity; Brunhes was pleased with his work. Kahn believed progress would improve the human condition.
Archives of the Planet: WWI (04:24)
The war limited travel while providing a new topic for cameramen to document; Khan wrote "Rights and Duties of Governments." The end of war ushered in the "Roaring Twenties" and Khan hired more cameramen for travel missions around the world.
Archives of the Planet: Golden Age (05:24)
Khan's team photographed over 60 countries, following four major themes. The images showed what people share across cultures and customs. Over 20 years, experts gathered over 72,000 autochromes and 100 hours of film.
Boulogne-sur-Seine Receptions (03:25)
Prestigious guests toured Khan's gardens and viewed autochromes from Archives of the Planet. Khan shared international press clippings, organized think tanks, and continued bank business. He maintained a healthy lifestyle.
Paradoxical Image (02:47)
Khan care for the well-being of his employees and their families; he was a confirmed bachelor. Khan was secretive and did not like his picture taken.
Khan's Legacy (05:13)
Khan declared bankruptcy in 1932. The Around the World Society saved his property and opened the gardens to the public in 1937. Khan hoped to rebuild his finances; he died in 1940. A museum displays Khan's photographic collection.
Credits: Citizen Khan (00:46)
Credits: Citizen Khan
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