“Photo.Book.Art” at Albertina Museum, Vienna

“Photo.Book.Art” at Albertina Museum, Vienna

The Albertina in Vienna is hosting “Photo.Book.Art,” an exhibition exploring the transition and reorientation of book designs in Austria in the period between 1840 and 1940. The exhibition is on view through September 22.

In the current day and age, photography is the most dominant medium of illustration for all types of illustration. But the process through which illustration evolved into photography is a lengthy one — a journey through myriad innovations and hurdles —

which the museum explores through this display.

“While impressive volumes with mounted originals featuring motifs such as butterfly wings magnified 1,000 times, Emperor Maximilian’s ceremonial armor, military exercises, and aristocratic theatrical performances reached enthusiastic audiences as

early as 1860, few people could afford to purchase such publications,” the museum says.

Photography grew into a mass medium only when it became possible to reproduce photographs in print. This development permitted book editions of practically unlimited copies and thus went on to dominate the 20th century. “But even so,” the museum adds, “the combination of convincing photography, refined book design, and artisanal perfectionism did produce a broad spectrum of those earliest photo volumes in Austria — of which this is the first-ever public exhibition.”

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Founder: Louise Blouin 

 

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