Façade du musée départemental  Albert Kahn

Albert-Kahn Museum

The Albert Kahn Museum and Gardens in Boulogne-Billancourt, where images and plants come together, are dedicated to preserving and disseminating the work of banker, philosopher and humanist Albert Kahn (1860-1940).

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Description

Celebrated for many years for its magnificent garden and its collections of autochromes that are unique in the world, the Albert Kahn Museum has been given a new architectural setting.

The Albert Kahn Museum, a philanthropic banker’s visionary project in the heart of Boulogne-Billancourt.

In the 19th century, the banker Albert Kahn, who had made his fortune in mineral resources and dreamed of a world at peace, created and financed ten foundations to promote understanding between peoples. Perceiving that his era would witness great changes, he set himself the somewhat crazy challenge of creating an iconographic memory of societies on the verge of disappearing. From 1909 to 1931, he sent operators from his property in Boulogne-Billancourt, in the west of Paris, to photograph and film more than 60 countries. The images are assembled in the Archives of the Planet, a collection of some hundred hours of black and white film and more than 72,000 autochrome plates, the first industrial process for true colour photography patented by the Lumière brothers, of which the museum today owns the largest collection in the world.

Philanthropist, patron of the arts, pacifist, visionary, humanist… Albert Kahn's enigmatic personality and his project continue to inspire the collective imagination and the work of researchers.

The Travel Museum in images

In a new building designed by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the museum's 2300m² of space presents permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, with a restaurant area too. The patiently collected images of a lost world are scattered throughout the exhibition and appear to come to life in screenings, on walls of images, via touch screens, and more. The various methods of presentation invite visitors to play an active role in their visit by forging a connection with the collections and thinking about their universal significance.

Priceless collections of plants

Built between 1895 and 1910 on a 4-hectare site, the gardens, a true plant-based journey around the world, are an integral part of the museum's collections. Here, Albert Kahn assembled and harmoniously combined the most diverse gardens, reflecting the world he dreamed of: English garden, French garden, rose garden, orchard, and a Japanese garden containing a remarkable traditional "tea village" installed during the banker's lifetime.

As you follow the paths, the Image Factory explains the techniques used in filming and presents both the equipment and the style of the various operators, while the Plate Room, a former laboratory, preserves the original boxes, a precious testimony to the world of the past. The adjoining projection room contains a lantern for projecting autochromes, as used in the past.

The museum's collections will also be displayed in the centre of the garden, in the wings of the monumental greenhouse, with two new areas. In the "Society Gardens", illustrated maps, autochromes, films and testimonies evoke the impression that a visit to the gardens made on the guests of the master of the house. The "Philosophical Garden" is a laboratory of life in which autochromes of the garden and films on the growth of plants are part of an immersive audiovisual experience.

Guided tours, workshops, artists in residence and more… the museum’s various areas are full of life all year round.

More museums and monuments in the Paris Region.

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Community facilities

Access and contact

2 rue du Port
92100 Boulogne-Billancourt

    Days and opening hours

    From 01/01 to 31/12/2023 between 11 am and 7 pm. Closed on Monday. Closed exceptionally on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday: - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from October to March: last admission at 5 p.m., museum and garden close at 5:30 p.m. - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April to September: last admission at 6 p.m., museum and garden close at 6.30 p.m. Closed from January 1 to 15 inclusive, May 1 and December 25. Reservations are strongly recommended for weekends.

    Prices

    • Full price: 8 € (The entrance ticket includes a visit to the permanent collections, the temporary exhibitions and the garden.) Reduced price: 5 €.
      Free entry for children < 26 years.
      On the first Sunday of each month and during certain national events, access to the site is free for all after booking a ticket online on the museum website.

    Tour

    Spoken languages

    • French
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    2 rue du Port
    92100 Boulogne-Billancourt

    • Copyright image:
    • © CDT92 / Julia Brechler