Bellboy at the Palais d'Orsay Hotel

André Berland, bellboy at the Palais d'Orsay Hotel
André Berland, bellboy at the Palais d'Orsay Hotel
After 1900
Gelatin silver print
H. 7.3; W. 5 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

André Berland, groom de l'hôtel du Palais d'Orsay [André Berland, bellboy at the Palais d'Orsay Hotel]

Opened in 1900, the main lines at the Orsay Station were closed in 1939, but the adjoining 370 room hotel remained open until 1972. From the moment the project for a museum dedicated to 19th century art was set up in 1978, the planning team immediately started collecting and conserving all the remaining original items from the former station and its hotel, including, notably, the staff register. There have also been many donations of memorabilia linked to the former Palais d'Orsay Hotel; letterheads, menus, silverware bought at the public auction of its contents, and even this portrait-card of a young boy employed as a bellboy at the hotel.

Displayed alongside great masterpieces of the history of photography from the Musée d'Orsay collections, this portrait-card brings a poignancy to the museum's modest but priceless collection of memorabilia about the building which houses it.

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