Admission with Museum Card

Agns Varda – My First Life

The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki

  • 13.5.2022–28.8.2022

Film director Agns Varda's (1928–2019) first creative life was as a photographer – Varda's first photography exhibition from 1954 will now be presented in Finland.


Film director Agns Varda (1928–2019) is known for her works Clo from 5 to 7 (1962), One Sings, the Other Doesn't (1977), Vagabond (1985), and Faces, Places (2017). Varda was also a visual artist, and out of three creative lives, her life as a photographer is the least known.

Agns Varda became a photographer after moving to Paris in the late 1940s. Contact prints from portraits, including commissioned works and photos of friends, testify to her meticulous directing while taking pictures. Varda worked with a Rolleiflex and folding camera. Some of her favorite subjects came from her home neighborhood, the 14th arrondissement of Paris. There Varda captured the areas charmingly dilapidated streetscapes and its inhabitants.

Varda opened her first photography exhibition on June 1, 1954. The show was held in the courtyard of her home studio at, 86 rue Daguerre, an address that would soon to become mythical. Prints glued to wood panels were hung on the courtyard walls and shutters. Amongst the exhibition visitors were Varda's friends and neighbors; such as artists including Alexander Calder, Hans Hartung, Andre Vilar, and Valentine Schlegel, along with the photographer Brassa.

In 2014 Agns Varda and her daughter Rosalie rediscovered the silver gelatin prints from that debut courtyard exhibition. These prints will now be displayed in their original form at The Finnish Museum of Photography, accompanied by never-before-seen photographic plates and contact prints. The exhibition reveals a visionary, humorous, and sensitive photographer whose images foresee her long career as a filmmaker and artist.

Agns Varda – My First Life has been curated by Carole Sandrin, together with Rosalie Varda and Sherine El Sayed Taih. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to Rosalie Varda, and the Galerie Nathalie Obadia, and Institut pour la photographie.

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Museum contact details

The Finnish Museum of Photography
Kaapelitehdas, Kaapeliaukio 3, G-rappu, Helsinki

040 1922 300

Museum website

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The Finnish Museum of Photography, Kaapelitehdas, Kaapeliaukio 3, G-rappu, Helsinki


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Admission fees

Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card

10/5/0 . Museokortilla ilmainen sisnpsy.
1.1.2022 alkaen 12/6/0

Payment methods

kteinen, kaikki yleisimmt pankki- ja luottokortit, Museokortti, kulttuurisetelit

Opening hours

Mon Closed
Tue 11:00-18:00
Wed 11:00-20:00
Thu 11:00-18:00
Fri 11:00-18:00
Sat 11:00-18:00
Sun 11:00-18:00

Free admission on every last Wednesday of the month, 5 to 8 pm.

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