Swedish Photography

Figure 1.---CDVs dominated Swedish photography for four decades (1860-1900). We see cabint cards, but they were not as popular as in America. This CDV portrait shows an unidentified Swedish child about 1900. The child looks to be a girl. A major gender indicator in these old photographs is a center part. The child here has a part somewhere between a center and a side part. Most center parts were much closer to the center. While the CDV is undated, thev back shows all kinds of medals the studio won with several in 1897 and 98. This suggestd the portait was taken in 1899 or 1900. The dealer suggests it was taken in the 1900s. The studio was L. Larsson in Stockholm.

Most of Western Euroee learned about the invention of photography in France very quickly and by the end of the year the technical details were known with the publication of Daguere's manual in Swedish (1839). Swedish chemists followed the developments. The Swedish Academy of Science published papers on photography. Sweden would not make ban imprtant technical contribution to photography, but as in most countries created an imprtantnbody of work depicting their peoole and landcape over time. The Swedish phoographic pioneers, however, were not scientists, but G.A. Müller, a stage desihner, and U.E. Mannerhjeerta, a lithographer. Another lithographr, Lt. L.J. Benzelstierna obtained a Daguerreotyoe apartus, sent by the Swedish Ambassadir in Paris. All three nen began exhibiting the first Swediish photograohs at thr Royal Museum --views of Stockholm (1840). A French merchant named Neubourg was also active. Benzelstiern emerged as Sweden's first professional photographer, althogh he did not st up a studio but organized a traveling demonstration. Gradually Dahuerreoitypists began to set up in the cities and itinerate Daguerreotypits, including many Danes and Germans, began to work the rural areas. J.W. Bergstrüm emerged as Sweden's geatest Dauerreotypist, producing masterful portraits. Ambrotyoes appeared (1850s). Dabid Gibson in Gothenburg was a pioneer Amnrotypists. There were also experiments with albumen paper (1851). The painter C.G. Carleman also worked with albumen paper. He also worked with half-tone lithograph, publishing the first photographic lithographic in a Swedish magazine (1871). There were only about 12 studios active and the number of the early photographs was limited. Immigrants palayed an important role and some Swedish photograpohers worked abroad like painter Oscar Gustav Rejander who did art photography in Engkand (1850s). As in other countries, improved negatives and the CDV created a boom (1860). For the first time really large numbers of photograhs began to appear. The CDV would dominate Swedish photography for several decades. And the number of studios mushroomed. In only a few years some 65 photographic studios were operating in Sweden (1865). This is a fractioin of the studios in America, but Sweden is a much smaller country. For the first time we begin tom see large numbers of photographic images. The most important studio was founded by Johannes Jaeger, who began as a an itinerate photographer and finally settled in Stockholm (1863). Anna Jonason in Gothenburg was also important. Soon we begin to see artisictic experimebts and amaturs becoming interested as well as individuals using photography in their works. Dr. Carl Curman who was a pioneer in bathing resorts used photograpohy to depict nature. Severin Nilson was one of the first photographers to dovument living conditions of the urbam poor and the developing slums. Otto Wegener compted with Nadar in Paris (1880s-90s). Swedish photographers left important iontributions in North America. John A. Anderson photographed workers in California (lumbrerjacks and railroad workers). Eric Hägg craeted images of the Klondike Gold Rush. Gustaf Nordenskiöld was fascinated by the Native american Mesa Verde cliff site. As Europe developed an imprtant btourist indistry came into existence. The Swdish Toourist Association was founded (1885). They contracted phoitographers to create images of the country's landscape, wildlife and people. This of course required photograohers to get putsidethe studio, not an easy ufertaking until the 20th century. As in other western Europoean ncountries, the CDV continued to be important into the 20th century. In America and Eastern Europe the cabinet card largely replaced the CDV by the 1870s. The reasoms for these Photographers took an interest in folk costumes, but women and girls dominte the images left. Postcards became pooukar (1890s). At first the postcards were printed, but after the turn-of-the 20th century we begin to see photo postcard. Photography as much else was male dominated field. Important female photographers were Maria Lundbäck, Josefina Rydholm or Amalia Olsson. A wonderful collection of mostly 20th century photographs can be found at Bohusläns Museum.


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Created: 4:28 AM 11/15/2019
Last updated: 4:28 AM 11/15/2019