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Madame Yvonne


264 pages
Edited by Pascale Laronze
Foreword by Gwenola Furic
Text(s) by Pascale Laronze and Pierre Salaün
Afterword by Marc Rapilliard
Photograph(s) by Yvonne Kerdudo
29 x 21 cm
Language: French
Publisher: Filigranes Éditions

Madame Yvonne was an itinerant photographer who criss-crossed rural Trégor on her bicycle for over fifty years. From 1902 to 1952, she photographed children, families, weddings, threshings, festivals, communions, soldiers, the dead, the young and the old. Born in 1878, Yvonne Kerdudo moved to Paris at the age of 15 to work. Through various encounters, she came to photography and was trained by the Lumière brothers in the early years of the century.

Returning to her birthplace around 1908, she set up her own business and worked until 1952, two years before her death in 1954. An emblematic figure of the canton, Madame Yvonne is known to all the old-timers, and her photos are still on display in family dining rooms around Plouaret. In 2005, one of her great-nieces, in possession of her archives, contacted us. The Compagnie Papier Théâtre acquired the photographic collection, made up of 13,400 gelatino-silver bromide glass plates stored for over 50 years in the photographer's attic. With at least half of the plates comprising two views, the collection represents over 22,000 images. The plates have not undergone any major alteration, and constitute a veritable heritage and cultural treasure trove.

It should be noted that there is no written record of this collection. A group of volunteers has been set up to clean up, digitize, date and identify the photographs, working with old acquaintances who knew the photographer and families who own prints.

To date, some 8,000 photographs have been identified. This immense task represents more than 4,000 hours a year of voluntary work over the past 14 years. Every day, it sheds a little more light on this exceptional collection and on the work of Yvonne Kerdudo, a courageous and discreet country artist.