A founding member of the Société Marseillaise de Photographie, Adolphe Terris was commissioned over a nearly 20-year period beginning in the early 1860s to document the large-scale public construction projects that were modernizing the city of Marseilles. He photographed the medieval streets of the old city as well as the newer railroad tracks, canals, boulevards, and government buildings.
Born in Aix-en-Provence, he moved to Marseille in 1850 where he worked in the book trade and published a collection of gravures of the history of the City in association with Martinon. Parallel to these activities, he founded his photographic studio in 1852, and quickly became the leading photographer capturing the transformation of Marseilles and gained private and officicial sponsors for his documentation. He was initially associated with Fred Vitigliano, who introduced him to photography techniques, notably wet collodion negatives. As Baldus and Marville did in Paris, Terris recorded the transformation of Marseilles through the building programmes of Napoleon III. With Leo Vidal he founded the Photographic Society of Marseille in 1860. His report in 1862 on the old parts of Marseille threatened with demolition came three years ahead of Marville's study of the demolition of the old streets of Paris.
Albums and prints by Terris are held at the Municipal Archives and Departmental Bouches-du-Rhone in the Municipal Library of Marseille, in the Roger Thérond collection.
Exhibitions: Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d'Arles 1994 pour la collection Paul Benarroche, Maison Européenne de la Photographie Paris pour des de la collection Roger Thérond en 1999.
Literature: au XIX èmeBernard Millet, R.M.N. 1992. Passion Française - Photographies de la collection Roger Thérond 1999.