PortfolioAmateur-Kunst 1891 Vienna Exhibition
AtelierRichard Paulussen (Vienna)
Image Dimensions: 27.8 x 20.1 cm : Japan paper
Support Dimensions: 48.1 x 35.5 cm
Since no photographer is stated in the portfolio plate list but rather an attribution of Austria’s K.K. Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt Für Photographie und Reproductionsverfahren, we attribute this studio portrait study of a young Bavarian girl to an anonymous photography student enrolled in this Vienna institute founded in 1888 by Dr. Josef Maria Eder. A rather plain portrait compared to other examples in Amateur-Kunst, Eder, who contributed the technical essay for the portfolio, was perhaps able to convince Vienna Camera Club rank and file the importance of student work with his aim of future patronage. Only three years old at the time, a short synopsis of the institution later appeared in his book, History of Photography, first published in 1905:
“Then Dr. Eder conceived the idea of gathering together under one roof scientific photochemistry, applied photography, and its artistic development, in a center for all Austria. The plan met with an enthusiastic reception….Later the school was enlarged by the addition of a section for typographic printing as well as by the inclusion of photogravure, copperplate printing, copper and wood engraving, and the installation of modern power presses. Dr. Eder directed the institute from 1888-1923 and gave it a world-wide reputation.” 1.
However, original comments are less than flattering for the work as printed in the Vienna Camera Club journal:
Blatt XI: Portraitstudie aus der k. k. Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Photographie und Reproductionsverfahren in Wien. Ein hübsches, sehr junges Mädchen in Bauerncostüm, einen Krug auf der Schulter tragend, ähnlich wie die Jungfrauen der Antike oft mit der Amphora dargestellt werden, wengleich die Pose leider nicht so viel Anmuth verräth und namentlich die linke Hand zu einer Kritik herausfordert.” 2.
1. Josef Maria Eder: Journals, Societies, and Institutions: in: History of Photography: Translated by Edward Epstean: Columbia University Press: New York: 1945: p. 690
2. Photographische Rundschau: Centralblatt fur Amateurphotographie: Edited by Charles Scolik: Volume IV: December, 1891: Published by Verlag Wilhelm Knapp: Halle a. S.: p. 440