Rare Photographs by late Qing Dynasty Masters

The Loewentheil Collection is announcing its first virtual exhibition of selections from the world’s largest and finest collection of early photography of China.

“Seizing Shadows: Rare Photographs by late Qing Dynasty Masters, a virtual exhibition in English and Chinese, is the first exhibition devoted to photographs by the first Chinese photographers. The photographs were taken from the 1860s to 1903.

The virtual exhibition is filled with engaging multimedia content that includes never before digitized or published photographs by master Chinese photographers of the late Qing dynasty. Captivating lifelike animations preserve the aesthetics of the original photographs, and educational videos and descriptive text set these rare 150-year-old photographs in the context of China’s artistic, cultural, and dynamic history. Modern digital editing plays with the visual perspective of these photographs, giving visitors the experience of exploring and discovering the people, cities, and landscapes of 19th-century China.

The exhibition presents early photographs of sites and peoples of late Qing dynasty China as well as images of the ancient Chinese art that influenced these photographers. Visitors can zoom in and out of images created 150 years ago in China with the wet plate collodion process. This early and exacting photographic process, used by the first Chinese photographers, captured images on glass in intricate detail. A video in the exhibition illustrates the process. The selection of photographic masterpieces from the Loewentheil Collection in this virtual exhibition are placed within the history of photography and among China’s long cultural heritage of poetry, music, art, and more.

The exhibition draws from the Loewentheil Collection, which was assembled over more than three decades. The collection comprises about 14,000 photographs spanning the earliest days of paper photography from the 1850s through the 1930s, the majority from before 1900.

www.loewentheilcollection.com

SEIZING SHADOWS: RARE PHOTOGRAPHS BY LATE QING DYNASTY CHINESE MASTERS
The Loewentheil Collection’s first virtual exhibition presents rare photographs by the earliest Chinese master photographers.

A POETIC PHOTOGRAPH OF THE YELLOW CRANE TOWER IN WUHAN
Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan
Pow Kee Photographers Studio, 1870s
Albumen silver print, 21 x 29 cm
From the Lowentheil Collection

JADE MAIDEN PEAK IN THE WUYI MOUNTAINS
Jade Maiden Peak in the Wuyi Mountains
Tung Hing Studio, 1870s
Albumen silver print, 21 x 29 cm
From the Lowentheil Collection