Special exhibition

Under Indian Skies
19th-Century Photographs
from a Private Collection

November 23, 2018 to April 28, 2019


The exhibition has been well received by the Danish media, read the recommendations here.

Unknown photographer. The Taj Mahal, Agra, from the north, 1870sUnknown photographer. The Taj Mahal, Agra, from the north, 1870s

The invention of photography in 1839 revolutionized the way in which the world was documented and interpreted, not only in Europe, but also in Asia. As early as the beginning of the 1850s, the British authorities in India launched an impressive photographic survey of architecture. Enthusiastic amateur photographers soon followed suit with atmospheric images of life in the period, including that of maharajas, snake charmers, and elephants bathing in the Ganges.

Through a selection of pictures from a private British collection, this photo exhibition focuses on some of the challenges and subjects that preoccupied the earliest European and Indian photographers. It also displays the distinctive beauty of vintage photos created with difficult to handle apparatuses, big glass negatives, long exposure times, and complex chemical processes.

The exhibition consists of over 80 photographs and photo albums from around 1850 to the beginning of the 20th century. The catalogue was written by the British photo historian John Falconer, who for many years was responsible for the photograph collections in the British Library’s Indian and Oriental departments. The catalogue costs DKK 200 and can be purchased in the museum shop, which also sells the lovely exhibition poster for DKK 40.

The exhibition was curated by Joachim Meyer and Peter Wandel.

Admission to the David Collection and all its exhibitions is free.