Fragments on melancholy
Pictures from the first century of photography

13.12.2006 to 25.02.2007

Alte Nationalgalerie

An exhibition by the Museum for Photography in the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)

The spirit of discovery hovers over the magic that shrouds the photography of the 19th century. The new medium was used for a passionate exploration of the world in its immensity, of its diverse cultures and its mysterious phenomena. The images of the audacious photographers brought back from faraway places incited amazement and wonderment among the public. Soon, the triumphal appearance of photography was accompanied by newly-discovered aesthetic and artistic categories that changed the medium.

For the first time ever, this exhibition shows a Berlin private collection of 19th century photography which presents a very idiosyncratic and novel view of the first century of the new visual medium, bringing together works that unite photography's special quality of providing a precise description with the capacity ascribed to it for remembering the past.