World News

Journey and tourism photographs over time


Under the lockdown, travel photography fueled our jealousy, longing and admiration. Photos were important to nineteenth-century travelers in another way: “You may have been to this place, but you couldn’t take a picture, so buy one to show the people back home,” said Jamie Allen on Associate Curator at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York.

An upcoming exhibition looks at the museum’s extensive collection of travel and tourism imagery over the years. Lilyan Jones is the project cataloger for the Alden Scott Boyer Collection at the Eastman Museum. Working with the museum’s photo collection, she searches over 13,000 objects that have been given to the museum, some of which range from the dawn of photography to the 1950s.

“I chose this topic because by the time I started getting stuck on it, we were stuck. I thought it would be nice to see pictures from all over the world, ”Jones told BuzzFeed News. “There are many early views of Egypt, people climbing the pyramids; There are also early views of India and Japan and even Niagara Falls. “

The George Eastman Museum was named after the creator of the Kodak company. Eastman was a pioneer in film and photography, and the museum fittingly claims to be the first museum in the world to focus entirely on photography.

“Early travel photography should be seen by people who were unable to travel themselves,” Allen said. “Now that travel has opened up, you can go to more places and see more things. Our definition of travel photography has changed. “

Allen said the aim of the exhibition is to pull gemstones from the museum’s collection that are not normally on display. Of the 450,000 items in the photography department, she said, “Some of these photographs do not see the light of day. There are photographs of Ansel Adams that are more surprising, and this gives you the opportunity to look at other things a photographer has made than just what he’s famous for. “

She added, “The sights used to be less prescriptive. In the past you didn’t have your own camera, so the person taking the picture is a professional photographer and you buy the picture from them or from a store. “

Here we’ve checked out some of our favorites from that show, which include photos from over 100 years ago.