2014-02-18

WORLD IN MAGAZINE FORMAT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 1888-1950



Exhibition “World in magazine format” in West Licht in Wienna shows early images from the legendary photo collection of the National Geographic Society. Back in 1888 Society, as one of the first, acknowledged the power of the photographic medium and started illustrating the articles of its magazine with photographs. This move became not only the keystone of National Geographic Magazine’s global fame, but also the starting point of a collection of over 11 million images today, 500,000 of which are early black-and-white prints. Since its beginnings, it has been the Magazine’s mission to bring the world into its readers’ living rooms. Foreign cultures, grand landscapes and wild animals were scaled down to magazine format, at first for an American audience only.
Corresponding with National Geographic’s 125th anniversary, the exhibition presents a range of photographic highlights from the founding days of the magazine up to the 1950s. It is the first time National Geographic has opened its vintage-archive for a museum exhibition in Europe. Pictures by early National Geographic photographers like Maynard Owen Williams, Edwin Wisherd and Clifton Adams, who had great influence on the shape of National Geographic Magazine’s reputation as one of photojournalism’s finest, will be presented alongside works by such famous artists as Ansel Adams, Wilhelm von Gloeden, Herbert Ponting Vittorio Sella and George Rodger which were published in the Magazine or acquired by the National Geographic Society for its collection.
In 1914 National Geographic began to include color photography into its magazine. Beside the 200 monochromatic prints of the exhibition, a slide show will present an outlook into this colorful world.

In cooperation with the National Geographic Image Collection.
Curated by Fabian Knierim and Rebekka Reuter

 

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