Louvre Abu Dhabi to Exhibit a Collection of the World’s Earliest Photographs

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fourth international exhibition of the cultural season A World of Exchanges, Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World; would study the development of photography from its first years of existence, in a rare exhibition of some of the earliest images that were taken by travelers and sailors in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, India and the Americas.

The exhibition would run till 13 July 2019 and would find the propagation of photography as a form of presentation and documentation, and an instrument of discovering and understanding the world and its people, via a wide collection of more than 250 historic photographs that were taken between 1842 and 1896.

Organized by Louvre Abu Dhabi, musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and Agence France-Muséums, and sponsored by the Bank of Sharjah, the exhibition would contain some of the earliest pictures clicked outside of Europe.

The works on exhibit would include exceptional loans from Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac; Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet; l’Etablissement public du Musée d’Orsay; Bibliothèque nationale de France; la Société de Géographie; and La Cité de la Céramique – Sèvres & Limoges. The show’s curator is Christine Barthe, Head of the Photographic Collections Heritage Unit at the Musée du quai Branly.

The exhibition would present the works by important international photographers, including Charles Guillain, a French ship’s captain who was a part of the diplomatic voyage down the coast of Africa in 1847-48; Marc Ferrez, the first Brazilian photographer to receive international acclamation; Désiré Charnay, an archaeologist who photographed the first pre-Hispanic sites in Mexico; William Ellis, an English missionary who travelled through Madagascar; Lai Afong a Chinese photographer who established one of the early photographic studios in Hong Kong; and many more things.

Christine Barthe, Head of the Photographic Collections Heritage Unit at the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and curator of the exhibition, stated that the exhibition Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World was born from a desire to display, in Abu Dhabi, some of the earliest photographic images recorded on Earth.

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