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In Search of Biblical Lands: From Jerusalem to Jordan in 19th-Century Photography

Event Details

In Search of Biblical Lands: From Jerusalem to Jordan in 19th-Century Photography

Time: March 2, 2011 to September 12, 2011
Location: Getty Villa
Street: 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in
City/Town: Pacific Palisades, California
Website or Map:…
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: Getty Museum
Latest Activity: Sep 11, 2011

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Event Description

This exhibition f eatures rare, early daguerreotypes, salted-paper prints, and albumen silver prints, created between the 1840s and 1900s by the leading photographers of the time, including Felice Beato, Maxime Du Camp, Auguste Salzmann, James Graham, Louis Vignes, Frank Mason Good, and Frederic Goupil-Fesquet. Due to the delicate nature of photographic materials that cannot be displayed for long periods, this exhibition features more than 100 photographs in total, divided into two installments, each on view for three-months.

Organized into five sections—Jerusalem, Early Views, Peoples of the Bible, Travels in Bible Lands, and Expeditions Beyond the Dead Sea—the photographs, made for study by scholars or produced as souvenirs as well as works of art, were presented by photographers and publishers in ways designed to foster viewers' religious identification with the region. Subjects include Bethlehem, Nazareth, Petra, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Damascus Gate, Saint Stephen's Gate, the Ecce Homo Arch, the Al Aqsa Mosque, Walls of the Temple Mount, The Garden of Gethsemane, the Dome of the Rock, the River Jordan, the Pool of Hezekiah, and Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.


Highlights of the exhibition are photographs by English photographer Francis Frith (18221898), whose compelling images were made during three trips to the Holy Land in the late 1850s, and daguerreotypes by French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (18041892) from his three-year tour of the Near East, culled from the Getty Museum's collection.

Visitors can see the region up-close through stereoscope tours on two large stereo viewers that digitally replicate the three-dimensional immersive experience. Each viewer has a selection of 12 cards that recreate a journey around Jerusalem and Palestine with particular attention paid to objects and places of interest and local color connected through scriptural citation.

Also of considerable note are a series of photographs made during the Duc de Luynes subsidized expedition to the Dead Sea and beyond, including views of ruined Crusader castles in what is now Jordan, and of Petra, the city carved out of rosy sandstone that had been first visited by Europeans in 1828 and is now a world heritage site in Jordan. These rare images come from the GRI's acquisition of the entire publication of the Duc de Luyne voyage.


Ccurated by Kathleen Stewart Howe, Sarah Rempel and Herbert S. Rempel 23 Director of the Pomona College Museum of Art and Professor of Art History. 


Photo: The Pool of Hezekiah (detail), 1880s. Félix Bonfils (French, 18311885). Albumen silver print. The Getty Research Institute.

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