Eugène Atget spent nearly thirty years photographing the details of his beloved Paris with sensitivity and eloquence. Inspired by Haussmann’s efforts to modernize and rebuild the city, at age 40, Atget began to photograph architectural details, shop windows, street vendors, and inconspicuous alleyways of the old city. Eugène Atget eventually made over 10,000 images, creating a modern urban portrait of a changing city. Though Atget thought of himself as a photographic illustrator and not an artist, his ability to transform the ordinary impressed the surrealists and ultimately earned him a place in history. During his lifetime, Atget made a meager living selling his photographs to painters and architects, receiving little recognition. Yet through the efforts of several artists, particularly Berenice Abott and Man Ray, Atget’s genius was preserved and promoted after his death. Today his work is in numerous prestigious collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Bibliotheque Nationalein Paris, among many others.