Eugène Atget
[Photographer, b. 1857, Paris, France, d. 1927, Paris.]

 For more than twenty years by my own work and personal initiative, I have gathered from all the old streets of Vieux Paris photographic plates, 18 x 24 format, artistic documents of the beautiful civil architecture of the 16th to the 19th century: the old hôtels, historic or curious houses, beautiful facades, beautiful doors, beautiful woodwork, door knockers, old fountains... This vast artistic and documentary collection is today complete. I can truthfully say that I possess all of Vieux Paris. 
 Now that I am approaching old age—that is to say, seventy years old—and have neither heir nor successor, I am worried and tormented about the future of this beautiful collection of negatives, which could fall into hands unaware of its import and ultimately disappear, without benefiting anyone. (1920)