Photo: Studio portrait of a dragoman (travel guide), albumin print, 1860-1880, Félix Bonfils (1831-1885)
© as collection by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron Cabinet, Basel.
All rights reserved
Oriental Grand Tour. Photographs from the Ruth and Peter Herzog collection
13 September – 13 December 2020
Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig
In conjunction with the large special exhibition entitled “THE INCREDIBLE WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY. The Ruth and Peter Herzog collection” at the Kunstmuseum Basel and the exhibition “MIDDLE AGES AND MODERNITY. Photographs from the Ruth and Peter Herzog collection” at the Historisches Museum Basel, the Antikenmuseum Basel will stage a special exhibition on 19th century orientalist photography. At that time, foreign travel to the Middle East experienced a veritable boom. From the tradition of going on a so-called ‘grand tour’ of cities and places particularly in Italy and Greece, popular since the late 17th century especially amongst the English gentry and undertaken as part of an individual’s education, evolved a form of tourism which was marketed mainly to wealthy Europeans, taking them to various locations in the Middle East. Some of the classic stopovers on these tours were Athens, Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem and Constantinople. The popularity of this type of travel was enhanced further by the then still relatively new technology of photography, which not only gave travellers an opportunity to create their own mementos but also increased the allure of such journeys for those who had stayed at home. The selection of photographs from the Ruth and Peter Herzog collection on display at the Antikenmuseum Basel is an outstanding series of photohistorically important works highlighting some of the destinations on these tours. Special focus is on archaeological sites in the Middle East, some of which had not only never been photographed before (Persepolis) but have since been destroyed by the Syrian civil war (Palmyra). The newly designed artificially lit space houses the oriental collection of the Antikenmuseum consisting of treasures from Mesopotamia, Syria, Turkey and Cyprus and is ideally suited for this purpose.
The exhibition will be realised thanks to the generous support of Dr. Claudia E. Suter.
Entrance fee: CHF 10/5
Free admission every Thursday and Friday from 5 pm, as well as Saturday and Sunday.