Image courtesy of classiccameras-photography.blogspot.com.
The First Photography by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.
The world's first permanent photograph from nature is on the move from UT's Harry Ransom Center to Mennheim, Germany as part of an exhibition titled, "The Birth of Photography: Milestones from the Gernsheim Collection."
Nicephore Niepce's "View from the Window at Le Gras," widely believed to be the world's first
photograph, is traveling to Mennheim, Germany, as part of an exhibition titled "The Birth of
Photography: Milestones from the Gernsheim Collection."
Helmut Gernsheim was a photography historian who discovered the image while writing his book "The History of Photography." According to an article by ARTINFO Germany, the image had been lost for over 50 years until Gersheim rediscovered it in 1952. It has been housed and owned in the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center ever since Gernsheim sold his entire collection of early photography to the university in 1963.
"We have had a professional relationship with the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum for over a decade
now, ever since we loaned original photographs and participated in a symposium with them back
in 2002,” Roy L. Flukinger, senior research curator for the Ransom Center, said. “It has always
been a professional and practical relationship, especially since their holdings include not only
contemporary and historical photographs like ours but also the later archival materials of Helmut
Loaning any artifact from the Ransom Center collections involves intensive study possible
treatment, preparation and documentation, said Flukinger. In this instance — involving an item
so rare and unique as the first photograph — it required, monitoring and display, heightened
security and a specially designed and constructed case for transportation.
"It is unique. It is the foundation stone for the entire medium of photography,” Flukinger said. “It
occupies a significant place in our institution and, indeed, throughout world culture. And it will
occupy that same significance in the Reiss-Engelhorn exhibition.”
This exhibit also includes 119 other original images from UT’s Gernsheim collection.
The loan period for all the pieces in the exhibition runs from July 2012 to January 2013. But
according to the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum website, the exhibition will be on display from Sept.
9 through Jan. 6. The exhibit will go back on display at the Harry Ransom Center in February