Rice student’s Paris work to be featured at Fotofest exhibit

David Ruth

HOUSTON — (March 6, 2012) — Rice University senior Hallie Jordan is following in the footsteps of a giant. She won a grant to study the famous French photographer Eugene Atget last summer in France and shot images at the exact locations he had more than a hundred years ago.

Jordan’s work, “Days & Nights in Paris: In the Footsteps of Atget,” will be on display at Fotofest, Houston’s biennial photography festival, beginning March 8 in the main gallery at the Rice Media Center on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St. Jordan will discuss her work at an opening reception at 5 p.m.

“Atget’s pictures, made with a large, tripod-mounted view camera on glass photographic plates, are universally admired by documentary and pictorial photographers alike,” said photographer Geoff Winningham, professor of visual arts at Rice. “His work is regarded as the benchmark for documentary photographic study.

“The project she pursued might seem overambitious — particularly for an undergraduate student with a month’s time to work — had she not carried it out with such determination, skill and talent.”

Jordan, an English major, was awarded a Focus Europe Summer Research Fellowship in spring 2011 that allowed her to travel to Paris and work for a month. Using Google maps and copies of Atget’s century-old photographs, Jordan shadowed the French master, working day and night for four weeks and shooting thousands of images with her hand-held digital camera.

She assembled her show largely as a series of diptychs suggesting two-page spreads from a book. She paired one of her color photographs with a monochrome Atget image of the same street, the same building or a scene from the same Parisian park.

“Hallie points out that she is not ‘re-photographing Atget,’ as other photographers have done in recent years,” Winningham said. “That is, she has not tried to photograph Atget subjects from the same angle in the same light; instead, she has responded to Atget’s timeless pictures with new photographs of Paris today. In the process, she has found a visual style of her own, and she has produced pictures that I suspect even Atget would have admired.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public. It will be on display through March 23. For information, contact Rachel Boyle at 713-348-4882 or rboyle@rice.edu.


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is known for its “unconventional wisdom.” With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.


About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.