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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Adolphe Braun

Born: Jean Adolphe Braun 
Other: A. Braun 
Other: Ad. Braun 
Other: Adolphe Braun et Cie 
Joint: Braun Clément & Cie 
Dates:  1812, 13 June - 1877, 31 December
Born:  France, Besançon
Died:  Dornach
Active:  France
A textile designer who in 1853 took up photography. He took a series of 300 flower studies as an aid to artists and designers. He also became a major supplier of reproductions of artistic works and scenic views.
In 1876, the year before his death, the firm of Adolphe Braun et Cie (1876-1889) was established and his son Gaston Braun continued the business. The firm continued under different names - Braun Clément & Cie (1889-1910) and Braun et Cie (1910-). 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
Dornach, France 
Paris, France 
[Adolphe Braun] "Braun & Cie. Photographes"; Ateliers de Pose, Boul. des Capucines; Magasin 43, Avenue de l'Opera, Paris. Issued fine extensive series (7,000+) of France, Germany, Switzerland and Savoy, Holland, Belgium, Egypt with Gaston Braun in 69; rare series of Franco-Prussian War, 71; some early views sold by A. Gaudin, Paris; early views poor quality; rarely seen on glass. Many collaborators and employees. Stereos all seem to have been issued from Dornach studio. U.S. RS seen on #s into the 3300s, so that many must have been on issue by mid-60s. B. 12; D. 77. For more info. see History of Photography, Volume 3, Number 4. 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the World (Non-USA), (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
NOTE: You are probably here because you have a stereograph to identify. Please email good quality copies of the front and back to so we can create reference collections for all.

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Further research

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Antoine Meyer
Adolphe Braun 
1870 (ca)
Family history 
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.

Exhibitions on this website

Theme: War
ThumbnailAdolphe Braun - The Paris Commune and the Aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) 
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Visual indexes

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Supplemental information


Adolphe Braun
French, 1812-1877

Born in southern Alsace in 1812, Adolphe Braun was first a textile designer in Paris and then his hometown of Mulhouse before finally pursuing photography in the 1850s. Braun's artistic talent as a draftsman and his knowledge of chemistry gave him an advantage in this new endeavor. His first major work was a series of floral photographs, compiled into a book of three hundred plates and shown to the Academie des Sciences in Paris. Despite the fact that the images were intended to be models for textile design, the series was recognized as an artistic achievement and introduced Braun into the world of French photography. Following the current trends of landscape photography, Braun began making images of the views and monuments of his native Alsace. He also made stereoscopic cards of Germany and Switzerland, which brought him financial success. Over the course of the next decade, Braun made thousands of stereoscopic cards admired by tourists and photographers alike. Throughout the 1860s and into the 1870s Braun covered a wide variety of subjects from local costumes to still-life compositions to the destruction and aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War. One of Braun's final ventures was into the realm of art reproduction. With his skill at producing superior prints and the use of a more permanent carbon printing process, Braun and his studio gained critical acclaim. Adolphe Braun's life and career finally came to an end in 1877, but his photography studio outlived him by many years.
For more information, see Image and Enterprise: The Photographs of Adolphe Braun by Maureen O'Brien, Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, 2000.
[Contributed by Lee Gallery] 

Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online ( has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
 Go to website
The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA has a biography on this photographer. [Scroll down the page on this website as the biography may not be immediately visible.] Go to website

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.74 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.81 
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Adolphe Braun.] 
• Perez, Nissan N. 1988 Focus East: Early Photography in the Near East 1839-1885 (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.) p.141-142 [Short biography on Adolphe Braun possibly with example plates.] 
• Weaver, Mike (ed.) 1989 The Art of Photography 1839-1989 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press) p.453 [This exhibition catalogue is for the travelling exhibition that went to Houston, Canberra and London in 1989.] 
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.95-96 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

• Naef, Weston 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum - Handbook of the Photographic Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum) p.66 


Photographic collections are a useful means of examining large numbers of photographs by a single photographer on-line. 

In the 1990 survey of 535 American photographic collections Adolphe Braun was represented in 46 of the collections. Source: Andrew H. Eskind & Greg Drake (eds.) 1990 Index to American Photographic Collections [Second Enlarged Edition] (Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall & Co.) 
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