In 2009, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supported an ambitious exhibition dedicated to publisher Robert Delpire, organised by the Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles. Entitled “Delpire & Cie”, this exhibition subsequently travelled to the Aperture Gallery in New York. This event marked the starting point of the collaboration between the two foundations. The Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and the Aperture Foundation, a seminal photographic institution founded in 1952, share a commitment to photographic creation and mediation. In order to strengthen its engagement in this artistic field, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès became the principal patron of the Aperture Foundation.
Immersion, a French-American Photography Commission of the Hermès Foundation, began in the context of this partnership with the Aperture Foundation. Exclusively funded by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, Immersion is an annual programme of alternating residencies, exhibitions and publications. On a yearly alternating basis, Immersion is open either to photographers based in France, who are mentored by a French professional as they create a new photographic work in the United States, or to photographers based in the United States, who are mentored by an Anglophone professional as they create a new photographic work in France. The work created by the first three laureates of Immersion – Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques, Alessandra Sanguinetti and Taysir Batniji – was exhibited at the Aperture Gallery in New York, with a publication accompanying each exhibition.
The partnership between the two institutions also supported the Prix Henri Cartier-Bresson. This prize, which has been supported since 2013 by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, is awarded by the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (Paris) to a seasoned photographer working in the documentary field. Beginning in 2015, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès bolstered its support for the Prix HCB by organising a New York showing of work by its laureates – such as Patrick Faigenbaum and Claude Iverné – at the Aperture Gallery in New York.