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The Great Nadar: A Conversation with Adam Begley

Adam Begley, author of The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera (Tim Duggan Books, 2017), will speak about that larger-than-life figure, a visionary whose outsized talent and canny self-promotion put him way ahead of his time.

Of all of the legendary figures who thrived in mid-19th-century Paris—a cohort that includes Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, Gustave Courbet, and Alexandre Dumas—Nadar was perhaps the most innovative, the most restless, the most modern. The first great portrait photographer, a pioneering balloonist, the first person to take an aerial photograph, and the prime mover behind the first airmail service, Nadar was one of the original celebrity artist-entrepreneurs. A kind of 19th-century Andy Warhol, he knew everyone worth knowing and photographed them all—a priceless panorama of Parisian celebrity.