A New Story about Sam Sanzetti’s Archive

Billet de Marine Cabos-Brullé (associée SOAS/CCJ-CECMC), publié sur son site Photography of China. Il présente de nouveaux éléments biographiques sur l’archive photographique de Sam Sanzetti (1902-1986), actif dans un studio à Shanghai dans la première moitié du 20e siècle.

A New Story about Sam Sanzetti’s Archive

© Sam Sanzetti | Courtesy of Moshe Dexler

© Sam Sanzetti | Courtesy of Moshe Dexler

In 2013, we had the chance to introduce a selection of images created by the Jewish-Israeli photographer Sam Sanzetti (1902- 1986) who owned a famous studio in Shanghai in the first half of the twentieth century.  

Although countless people went to his studio in order to get commemorative portraits, Sanzetti left few traces behind him. Fortunately, personal stories from here and there allow us to piece together the puzzle. Of particular interest, Mrs C.W. recently looked through Sanzetti’s archive and realized he took a photo of her grandma and other family members. She explains: “Dad is 89 years old and is living in Shanghai. He told me that he met Mr. Sanzetti during 1941-1942 in Shanghai. Dad said that Mr. Sanzetti visited our house often during that period. Sam was introduced to us through his business partner at the time, Ms. Wu. Sam took a few photos of my grandma and my aunt. Last time Dad saw Sam was in 1957 in Hong Kong (on the street). Dad said that Sam told him he was going home to Israel.” 

Mrs C.W.’s grandmother had six children who were nicknamed as DoDo, ReRe, MiMi and FaFa, DoReMiFa like the music tone. The picture below shows from left MiMi, Mrs C.W’s father, FaFa and ReRe. Mrs C.W suspects this picture was taken around the time that Sanzetti was coming to their house for Chinese dinner. It was right after her grandfather’s death, her father was 9-10 years old. Today only Mrs C.W’s father and ReRe are still living in Shanghai and Beijing.

Lire la suite du billet sur Photography of China

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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