A Promised Land. From the Age of Enlightenment to the birth of photography.
20 SEP '23 - 18 AUG '24
Floors 0 and -1 of the Museum.
Group exhibition. Collection Museo Universidad de Navarra
Photo: Thèbes, Karnak, Élevation Perspective de la Porte du Sud. Description of Egypt, 1809-1823, Paris.
Artists: albums by Diderot and D'Alembert, Vivant Denon, La Description de l'Égypte, Alexander von Humboldt, Georg Dionysius Ehret, David Roberts, Jean-François Champollion, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Genaro Pérez Villaamil, etc. and the daguerreotypes, calotypes and albumins of Girault de Prangey, Noël Lerebours, Maxime Du Camp, Félix Teynard, Auguste Salzmann, Francis Frith, Antonio Beato, Louis DeClerq, Félix Bonfils, Adelphoi Zangaki, Gustave Beaucorps, Alphonse Delaunay, among others.
Commissioners: Rafael Levenfeld and Valentín Vallhonrat
Throughout the 23-24 academic year, the Museum invites visitors to take a journey through the origin and development of photography through the collection at Museo Universidad de Navarra. The collection has as its central support the collection of Spanish and Latin American photography together with the collection on the Orient, prepared to facilitate the understanding of the photographic phenomenon as a whole.
The exhibition addresses the different facets of the nature of the photographic phenomenon as the origin of changes in the perception and definition of reality, but also as responsible for the renewal of languages and artistic disciplines since 1839, the year of the presentation of its invention, to the present day.
It also addresses the conceptual origins of the birth of photography such as, on the one hand, the physical, optical and chemical advances and, on the other hand, the iconographic creation, each time with a more realistic appearance, within the tradition of scientific illustration that was renewed and exploited in the 18th century.
In the exhibition A Promised Land. From the Age of Enlightenment to the birth of photography, with around 900 pieces, the rooms of the Museum are populated to show the existence and appearance of the photographic phenomenon, centered on a trip to the Orient, and its impact on the development and evolution of the image in society until the mid-nineteenth century.
There are three main axes through which the curators lead the visitor to an understanding of this photographic phenomenon:
1- Collection of albums of drawings and engravings from the middle of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century. They collect the knowledge of the world at that time, from flora and fauna, to archeology and antiquities, from the Middle East, Egypt, Latin America and Europe.
2- Napoleonic albums of the occupation of Egypt in 1798: La Description de l'Égypte. Original imperial edition.
3- First photographs of the Orient and Spain: daguerreotypes, salt papers, albumen and photoengravings.
September 20, 2023