Exhibition: Ordóñez-Falcón Collection (1852-1913) - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum


2009-09-21 • 2009-12-13

Ordóñez-Falcón Collection (1852-1913)

Room 33

From 21 September to 13 December 2009, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum will be exhibiting 47 photographs from the Ordóñez-Falcón Collection recently acquired by the Museum Collection as a deposit. This new set is an addition to the original group of photographs from this prestigious collection deposited at the Museum in 2007, which also featured in an exhibition in summer 2008. Taken together, the two deposits are an outstanding sample of works by pioneering photographers from the second half of the 19th century to the early years of the 20th century.

Taken by many leading photographers of their day, including Olympe Aguado, Emil Mayer, Ernest James Bellocq, and photographic studios like Jean Laurent's or the Atelier Nadar, the photographs in the exhibition provide a fascinating insight into the way photographic techniques developed and evolved in the latter half of the 19th century. Many of the photographs on display are both outstanding works of art in their own right and documents of major historical importance; included are the 1852-53 portrait of Victor Hugo by his son Charles-Victor, and Edweard Muybridge's studies of the human body in motion that captivated the artist Francis Bacon. The remarkable thematic and technical variety of the photographs on display, with landscapes, cityscapes, flowers and plants, portraits, still life, popular scenes, documentary views, scientific images and historic buildings, gives today's viewers a window onto a vanished world, while underscoring the extraordinary range of uses to which photography was put from the mid-19th century on.

In the image:
Dr. Emil Mayer (Bohemia, Czech Republic, 1871 - Vienna, 1938)
Vienna. Life in the Prater. The Excluded (fragment), 1908
Bromoil Print, 8,9 x 8,1 cm
Ordoñez Falcón Collection