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The album contains several dozen photographs taken by Maksymilian Fajans, including the views of Warsaw of the 1860s and 1870s and pictures documenting the life of the city (among others the opening ceremony of Kierbedź’s bridge, the interior of famous Lourse’s pattiserie at the European Hotel, photo coverage of the industrial and agricultural exposition in Warsaw), portraits of famous residents and personages visiting Warsaw, in those days the capital city of the Kingdom of Poland, prepared in the artist’s studio. Some photographs depict places or events not recorded by any other photographer before, such as the interior of the above mentioned Lourse’s pattiserie or the infrastructure of new train stations in the Praga district of Warsaw. The album is complemented with the essay by Danuta Jackiewicz and the chronological review of breakthrough events in the history of photography in the Kingdom of Poland and the rest of the world.
Maksymilian Fajans, a prominent photographer, lithographer and publisher, opened his portrait atelier in the mid-1800s on Długa Street in Warsaw (later he moved his studio to 52 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street) and instantly he joined the circle of the most popular artists in the capital city. Initially, his domain was drawing and lithography (which he studied in Paris under the guidance of Emille Lassalle and Rosé-Joseph Lemercier), but from 1862 his offer also included photography, which was very trendy in those days. This decision allowed him to join the elite of the European graphic artists.
The album has been published in two languages: Polish and English. The book series “Photographers of Warsaw”, which includes popular science monographic albums devoted to the outstanding Warsaw artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, was inaugurated with the album Karol Beyer 1818–1877.
‘Maksymilian Fajans 1825–1890’
History Meeting House, National Museum in Warsaw, 2014
Book series editing: Katarzyna Madoń-Mitzner
Graphic design: Maciej Buszewicz
Text editing and proofreading: Zofia Jurkowlaniec
Photographs used in the album courtesy of the National Museum in Warsaw, Warsaw Public Library, Lublin History Museum, Historical Museum of Warsaw and Art Museum in Łódź.