Navigate / search

Web exhibition highlights world's first photo

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's View from the Window at Le Gras. c. 1826. Gernsheim Collection Harry Ransom Center / University of Texas at Austin. Photo by J. Paul Getty Museum.
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's View from the Window at Le Gras. c. 1826. Gernsheim Collection Harry Ransom Center / University of Texas at Austin. Photo by J. Paul Getty Museum.
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce captured the world’s first photograph in 1826 or 1827, but it took more than 125 years for it to be recognized as such. The photograph was rediscovered by photo historian Helmut Gernsheim, who found it lying forgotten in a trunk. “I held the foundation stone of photography in my hand,” Gernhseim recalled. “I felt myself in communication with Niépce. Your nightmare existence in a trunk is over,’ I thought. ‘At long last you will be recognized as the inventor of photography.’”

Freed from its “nightmare existence,” the first photograph is on permanent view in the Ransom Center’s lobby. This web exhibition about the first photograph includes information about Niépce, Gernsheim’s discovery, conservation and preservation of the photograph, and more.

Comments

Jos Erdkamp
Reply

I have been to the exhibition in Mannheim to see the Niepce photo. It was a wonderful experience that I will not forget. Standing face to “face” with the world oldest photograph was very special. For me it was the chance of a lifetime to see the Point de vue du Gras, but I hope the photo will not take another 50 years to come back to Europe again. If it will be here again I will surely go to see it a second time.
Thanks for sending the photo to Mannheim!

Leave a comment

name*

email* (not published)

website