Janine Niepce – Photographie de Jean-Loup Sieff


Janine Niepce, photographe française, dans la maison familiale, avec le briard de sa soeur. Rully (Saône-et-Loire), 1993. Photographie de Lily Franey. Fonds Janine Niepce (1921-2007).

Janine Niepce was born on the 12th of February 1921 in Meudon into a family of vinegrowers in Burgundy. She is distant related to Nicephore Niepce

In 1944, Janine Niepce graduated a license for the History of Art and of Archeology at the Sorbonne. At the same time, she developed films for the French Resistance and took part in the liberation of Paris as a liaison officer.

Janine Niepce was one of the first photo-journalists in France. Beginning in 1946 she traveled extensively in France, recording changes in French culture (including the first television in 1963, and the rise of rapid transport) and the contrast between life in the countryside, in the towns, and in the capital, Paris. Then from 1963 she began reporting from further afield in Europe and around the world, including Japan,Cambodia, India, USA, Canada. Dressed like a foreign tourist, she also covered the French events in May 1968.

Janine Niepce (1921-2007), photographe française. Autoportrait. Paris, 1980.

In the 1970s, her work focused particularly on the women’s liberation movement and its struggles for freedom of contraception, abortion and wage equality. From 1984 to 1986, she reported on researchers and engineers for the French Ministry of Research.
She was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1981 and became a Knight of the Legion d’Honor in 1985.

In 2000 during an exposure at Visa pour l’Image, it has been underlined that Janine Niepce was the only photographer to report the evolution of women and their story during a half century. Her numerous exposures are travelling in France, in Europe and some around the world.

From 1965 to May 2010, her photographs were published by Rapho agency in the French press and internationally. Since May 2010, Roger Viollet agency is in charge of the publishing.

Janine Niepce, photographie de Robert Doisneau

Amongst her 18 books, 6 have been published since 1992: « France. Niepce-Duras » Actes Sud Edition, « Les années femmes » in 1993, « Mes années campagne » in 1994, « Images d’une vie » in 1995 with La Martinière Edition, « Les vendanges » in 2000 Hœbeke Edition and « Françaises Français 1944-1968, le goût de vivre » Imprimerie Nationale-Acte Sud.

Between 2000 and 2007, she regularly intervened at the International School of Photography Speos and she actively supported the creation of the museum Maison Nicephore Niepce.