In 1913, two Frenchwomen, named Madeleine Mignon and Marguerite Mespoulet, took a 2-month-long trip to Ireland.
The two women were a part of a world-wide project called Archives of the Planet (Archives de la Planète). It was initiated by Alberth Kahn, French banker and philanthropist, and it aimed to create “a kind of photographic inventory of the surface of the earth, as it was occupied and organized by men at the beginning of the 20th century.” So, the project was kind of like a primitive Google Maps.
The photographs captured by Madeleine Mignon and Marguerite Mespoulet are the earliest color photos of Ireland. Through the lenses of their Autochrome Lumière cameras, these adventurer intellectuals documented priceless moments of remote villages, Irish rural settlements, lives of locals adhering to traditional Gaelic values, ancient Celtic monuments, prominent Christian sites, green landscapes, cemeteries, street settings from Galway city and much more.
Without further ado, let’s commence our photographic trip back in time to the 1900’s Ireland.
Disclaimer: The photos belong to the archives of “Autochrome de Marguerite Mespoulet (inv.A 3 706). © Musée Albert-Khan – Département des Hauts-de-Seine”