The Exhibition

The exhibition « What if we danced… » takes us in the gypsy communitity of Barcelona during the 50s through the loving and benevolent eye of a french photographer, Jacques Léonard, who fell in love with one of theirs, Rosario Amaya, whom he later married. Nicknamed the « gadjo Chac », he remains the privileged witness of a time when few were able to enter this world apart.

Exhibited for the first time in France at Anne Clergue’s gallery in Arles, Jacques Leonard’s pictures are a precious testimony of a time when joy, spontaneity, freshness and sweetness of life marked an era that has become so nostalgic today. The signed and numbered prints on baryta paper were made from the original negatives deposited in the Photographic Archives under the control of the Fundacion Photographic Social Vision which manages the Archivo Familia Jacques Léonard in Barcelona.

DUREV exhibits a selection of mostly unpublished works, from February 9th to the end of March. Enough to make Parisians dance in this neurasthenic period that we are currently going through.

Jacques Léonard

The French photographer Jacques Léonard (1909-1994) has always been linked to the world of images. He began working at the Gaumont studios in Paris and collaborated with Abel Gance in J'accuse, Louise and Paradis perdu. During a trip to Spain for the spotting of a film, he met the head of the Cinematography Department of the Ministry of the Interior, from whom he was a protégé in the following years and who offered him to work for Ulargui Films where he edited some films.

In 1952, he moves to Barcelona where he fell in love with Rosario Amaya, a gypsy from the barracks of Montjuïc. He then became a photographer. working for various magazines in Spain. The doors of all the barracks were open to the Gadjo Chac, as the large gypsy family called him. He documented the culture and the gypsy people from a historical and contemporary point of view, transmitting an image of absolute dignity, a true work of ethnologist. This photographic archive is the most important one kept on gypsies and their culture in Barcelona, from 1952 until the mid-70s.

The Photographs

How to buy a photograph from the exhibition?

If you want to buy a print from that exhibtion « What if we danced … »
please send an e-mail at or call +33 6 60 32 04 68

The black and white photographs are all printed on baryted photo paper and certified by the Association Jacques Leonard