Edmond Fortier Eng

       Centre Edmond Fortier




As a result of printing technology developments, the flourishing time of the postcard came into being around the turn of the century. There were new business opportunities here for photographers and publishers who settled in West Africa. Fortier was born in 1862 in the village of Celles sur Plaine in the Vosges.

 He lived and worked for several years in Saint-Louis (Senegal) before moving to Dakar in 1900. He lived there on the corner of Boulevard Pinet-Laprade and Rue Dagorne above his company with his 2 blond daughters and youngest servant / laboratory technician Seydou Traoré. He was a small blond man with a pointed beard and usually wore a tropical helmet. (military model with dot)

 He had a favorite comment: Le Cantal mon berceau, Dakar mon tombeau! (Le Cantal / Vosges was my cradle, My grave will be in Dakar / Senegal! ...)

 Fortier was a traveler, photographer and publisher / manufacturer of picture postcards (the most important in West Africa), he printed "Travaux et tous genres et par tous procédés" on the back of his photos. to Benin, Ivory Coast and Guinea.

 In October 1905 he made an extensive trip in Mali along the Niger. He reached the city of Kankan by train from Konakry (Guinea) and then arrived on or along the Niger final at Tombouctou. The return journey went upstream to Bamako to arrive by train in April 1906 in Saint Louis (Senegal).

 During this trip he was one of the first photographers to visit the Dogon area in the Bandiagara.

 From 1910 until his death in 1928, he lives on his 3,300 archive from before 1910, which he uses again and again. (reprints 3.320) It is not known why no new images were added after 1910.

 Fortiers recordings offer a fascinating documentation of West Africa in the period 1900 to 1910.

 He was interested in the African country and its inhabitants like no other.

 His work is regularly found in books and at exhibitions around the world.

 Nothing is known about the ups and downs of his family or heirs after his death on 24 February 1928, nor about his extensive archive of more than 3,300 negatives.

 Fortier's recordings appeared during his lifetime - with and without his permission - in dozens of books. Postcards are found at the many collectors and traders and among others in the archives of:

The Afrique et Oceanie National Arts Museum, 75012 - Paris; Services Outre Mer. Rue Ordinot, Paris

Library of the Benedictine Monastery of the Source, Paris (16);

Branch of the d.Outre Mer archives in Aix en Provence;

The National Archives of Senegal in Dakar.

Source: Raymond Corbey - Wildness and civilization;

Philippe David - Inventory general of Cartes Postales Fortier 1986: 1987, 1988; 3 volumes

Philippe David - Voyage Fortier au Soudan-; Cataloque sur les cartes postales Neudin1983

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