Samuel Bourne and Colin Murray
Early Photography from Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan

01.06.2010 to 30.01.2011

Since 2007 one of the main thrusts of the Museum of Asian Art's exhibitions has been its focus on historical photography from South Asia. Alongside larger temporary exhibitions (that will in future be organised in close cooperation with the Art Library), the Collection of South, South-Eastern and Central Asian Art will regularly present to the public small displays of valuable vintage prints from the holdings of the National Museums in Berlin. The first such exhibition, opening on 1 June, will contain an exquisite selection of photographs by Samuel Bourne, the legendary photographer of the Indian subcontinent, and his much less well-known successor, Colin Murray.

On display are prints from the 1860s and 1870s, originally taken in the 'Golden Triangle' of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur in Rajasthan. Most of the selected photographs depict famous architectural monuments captured for eternity, many of which remain popular tourist sights even today. The exhibited photographs are considered important cultural historical artefacts from the 19th century not merely for the much praised picturesque style of the Bourne & Shepherd Studio, but also because they are historical documents that, in many instances, show the monuments in a completely different state to that which they are in today.

In this selection from the rich fund of Bourne and Murray photographs owned by the various collections of the National Museums in Berlin, the focus has been purposefully placed on India's architectural highlights as a humble counterpart to the major exhibition of architectural photography, organised by the Art Library, currently on show in the restored Kaisersaal in the Museum of Photography in Jebenstaße.