Thursday, February 4, 2010

Institut Lumiere

This is my favourite photograph of the Institut Lumiere,
taken while looking through the grand staircase's
stained glass windows:

I couldn't stay away from the Institut Lumiere. We all went yesterday after Harper's doctor appointment and the late afternoon sun was dripping in the windows and I did not have my camera. Today was another rare sunny day, so I went back over there (after lunch with an old Italian friend from Lyon 10 years ago). She still works at IARC (International Agency on Cancer, W.H.O., where David also works). She focuses on hormones - thyroid and breast cancers. Here is IARC from the back. David works on the fifth floor. The cafeteria is on the top floor with a spectacular view. This is one of the few "skyscrapers" in Lyon:

The Institut Lumiere is only a few blocks down the street from IARC and houses the Lumiere Brothers' old house that is now the museum (see below), an indoor movie theatre with a current John Huston retrospective, an outdoor theatre, park, and research facilities. The Lumieres were rich and owned factories adjacent to their house - all torn down in the 1970s for urban development - a shame, as the adjoining house was also torn down.

Here is the to-scale model of the house-museum inside the house-museum:

One of four sets of buttons to be pushed to light up corresponding lights inside the model house:

Detail of the House-Museum's entrance door -
from the outside and inside.
Notice the double LL - forward and backward:

One of the many spiraling staircases in the museum and a detail of the carpet on the landing:

The outdoor movie screen with people playing Boule.

The outdoor screen from the Lumiere's sidewalk:

One of the many panorama photographs by the Lumieres
with a model of one of the public displays of them,
and a detail below that reminds me
of the Brothers Quay film on Anamorphosis:

One of the Lumiere's first films, being projected onto 4 panels in the basement of the museum:

Chnatal Akerman's film:

One of the many magical and transfixing "objects" on exhibit in the museum - multiple layers of glass that overlay perfectly - come into focus - if you look directly into his eyes at eye level,
or if you look into the mirror across the narrow dark hallway:

A simple and beautiful magic lantern projecting an image of an animal:

Another wonderful spinning machine. When you push the button, 2 paper disks spin - 1 with an image of a horse and the other with an image of a rider-man. As the spin, they converge so that it appears as if the man is riding the horse:

Some shadow puppets from their collection:

One of their many inventions, an early turntable:

Other inventions

One of the many projectors - this one in the grand staircase (and a detail):

The Lumieres made very pictorialist and romantic "autochromes". Here are a few:

I believe this is one of the brother's wives sitting in the sun room:

The sunroom today:

A big sign of the Lumiere Brothers as seen out the sunroom window:

Many of the windows have different shades on them and all of them provide a cinematic effect:

The Domestic quarters or maid's room in the attic:

A window I covet:

David works with a woman whose husband is the manager at the best chocolate factory in France and she brings in "samples to be tested." Here are SEAGULL EGGS = candied shells over soft sweet chocolate surrounding a creamy chocolate filling - divine!


  1. I love you for noticing those window shades!

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