Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Fall 2012 Newsletter

First Photograph to travel to Europe for first time in 50 years

First Photograph. Click to enlarge.

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's View from the Window at Le Gras. c. 1826.
Photo by J. Paul Getty Museum.

The First Photograph was loaned, along with 119 other images and photography-related items from the Harry Ransom Center's Gernsheim collection, to the Reiss Englehorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany, for the exhibition The Birth of Photography–Highlights of the Helmut Gernsheim Collection. The exhibition runs from September 9 through January 6, 2013.

Taken in 1826 or 1827, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's View from the Window at Le Gras depicts the view from an upstairs window at Niépce's estate, Le Gras, which is in the Burgundy region of France. The First Photograph will be back on display at the Ransom Center in February 2013.

The First Photograph forms the cornerstone of Helmut Gernsheim's photographic collection, which was the largest in the world when the Ransom Center acquired it in 1963. The Gernsheim collection is one of the seminal collections in the United States of the history of photography and contains an unparalleled range of more than 35,000 images.

In 2002, the Forum International Photographie at the Reiss Engelhorn Museum acquired Gernsheim's later collection of contemporary photography, along with his own photographs and archive. For the first time in half a century, major portions of both Gernsheim collections are being reunited: the historical material housed in the Ransom Center and the contemporary collection in the Forum International Photographie at the Reiss Engelhorn Museum.  


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