Galerie Sfeir-Semler

The Herzog Collection Basel - 19th Century Vintage Photography from the Middle East (Beirut)

The Herzog Collection Basel - 19th Century Vintage Photography from the Middle East (Beirut)

Friday, July 29, 2011Saturday, October 29, 2011


Hamburg, Germany

The Herzog Collection Basel - 19th Century Vintage Photography from the Middle East

Reception: 28 July, 2011, 7 - 9 PM
Exhibit: 29 July - 29 October, 2011

BEIRUT - Sfeir-Semler Gallery is happy to announce the opening on Thursday 28th of July, 7-9 pm, of two solo shows. In the South wingof the gallery we present Elger Esser, the renowned German photo-artist, who will be showing a new body of work taken along the Nile. In the North wing we have an impressive selection of 19th century vintage photography of the Middle East from the Herzog Collection, Switzerland.

Complementary to the Esser exhibition, we present a selection of more than one hundred historical photographs from the Herzog Collection. The works on view depict 19th century Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, and Greater Syria, in black and white and hand-coloured landscapes and portraits. The unique vintage prints display a diverse spectrum of photographic techniques including works by well-known photographers such as Félix Bonfils, who moved to Beirut in 1867, and took more than 20,000 images of Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine. The photographs on display constitute a unique insight into the region at that time.

Established by Ruth and Peter Herzog forty years ago the Swiss collection comprises approximately 300,000 photographs. The individual pictures of the collection and those presented in albums, represent a diverse range of techniques used since the invention of the medium of photography in 1839. The images document multiple facets of life in the industrial age, from 1839 until 1950. The collection is especially rich in pictures of the Mediterranean area. It includes masterpieces of great photographers as well as photographs taken by amateurs held in high esteem by the collector couple.

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