Contact Us

                        The Gisèle Freund Photographs of James Joyce

Display Case 4, part 2 [END OF EXHIBIT]


Onlookers, 14 Julliet

We end this exhibition with two photos that anticipate the brewing darkness of the Second World War

Two older women watch a military parade march by. One of the women resolutely returns Freund’s gaze. "Silent spectators who no longer cheered"

Défilé of the troops in the 30s (war approached)

The March of War

After twenty years of unsteady peace, the drumbeat of war was loudly banging once again. In 1940, Hitler’s troops would storm Paris and occupy France

Freund writes, "Finnegans Wake appeared at a moment of bad omen, as Joyce had feared it would. In 1939 the whole world was distracted and tense, menaced once again by the specter of war." 

"In exile, I became a professional photographer at last" 

– Gisèle Freund, on leaving Paris

When Freund fled Paris on a bicycle, all she had was a toothbrush and a few of her most important negatives. Her friends hid her work from the Nazis while she was away. But her time in Paris (and her photographs of Joyce), had made her famous around the world. When she left for South America, she did so as a professional photographer who would become one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. 

She would return to Paris many years later and rekindle the warmth and light of the city as it had been before the war with these photos. She died there, a honoured citizen and artist, in 2000. 

The University of Victoria welcomes all members of our community to visit and experience her work first hand. Gisèle Freund fonds (SC043) 

"Finn, again! Take. Bussoftlhee, mememormee!" 

– Finnegans Wake

Thank you for visiting the University of Victoria Libaries' exhibition on Gisèle Freund. Return to exhibition home or visit our About page.

Display Case 4: Paris in the 1930s