From Vision Machines to Instagram
The museum offers both obscure objects to recount unusual histories, and well-known icons from the history of photography. Join us on an exciting journey all the way from pre-photographic periods via vision machines that were used for entertainment, to our contemporary image-sharing culture.
Many exhibitions have been produced since the museum was founded in 1995. Nevertheless large portions of the collection have not been shown, and the 20th anniversary celebration offers the museum a golden opportunity to bring forth numerous and little-known objects to tell additional and varied stories .
Photography's official year of inception is 1839, but the period before photography also involved "training" people to become subjective observers. The museum's large collection of "vision machines" (for example zoetropes, stereoscopes, kaleidoscopes, anamorphoscopes, and shadow theaters) provide enjoyable and exciting aha-experiences up to the present!
Animation of Eadweard Muybridge's photographs (below).
The museum has an international collection that shows most processes and areas of usage all the way from the outset in 1839—as well as some "blind alleys" and pre-photographic technology. This creates the opportunity to present an interesting history of photography that provides a "three-dimensional" portrait of technology, culture, and art in a way rarely seen previously.
Today we are surrounded by more images than ever. Precisely for that reason we need to strenghten awareness of what a photograph is and can be. There are innumerable stories of the meaning of photography in most fields, and these stories are important to bring forward.
A new photographer from the collection will be presented each month on a wall in the exhibition space "Wall of Fame," which enables one to explore deeply the work of individual photographers. These photographers are as follows:
- February: Early English (Hill, Adamson, and Cameron)
- March: Marcus Selmer (1819-1900)
- April: Carleton E. Watkins (1829-1916)
- May: Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952)
- June: Anders Beer Wilse (1865-1949)
- July: Edward Steichen (1879-1973)
- August: Carl Strüwe (1898-1986)
- September/october: Lotte Jacobi (1896-1990)
- November: Sigurd Fandango (f. 1986)
- December: Tom Sandberg (1953-2014)
Varied programs and seminars will take the collection as a starting point and reveal its great breadth and the possibility of telling a multitude of interwoven stories. Those accounts articulate the history of photography as well as the development of modern society and the individualistic modern human being who observes through the collection's sense machines and pre-photographic equipment. The programs will be announced here.
In August the museum will publish a wide-ranging anniversary volume about the collection with contributions from approximately twenty external writers. The volume will be published by Press Forlag with design by the noted Rune Døli of the firm Modest, who also designed the prize-winning volume Elizabeth Meyer—Reports from the World 1920-1950 for the Preus Museum.