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The photograph shows the main gate of the Henryk Jordan park in Kraków. In the foreground, the road has been flattened (currently, 3 May Avenue), behind which there is a wooden bridge on the River Rudawa. Next, we see a tall wooden gate, with the inscription: Miejski/ Park Dra Jordana. In the background, on the left, a wooden pavilion designated the main pavilion...

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The photograph shows the main gate of the Henryk Jordan park in Kraków. In the foreground, the road has been flattened (currently, 3 May Avenue), behind which there is a wooden bridge on the River Rudawa. Next, we see a tall wooden gate, with the inscription: Miejski/ Park Dra Jordana. In the background, on the left, a wooden pavilion designated the main pavilion, is visible; in the background are the crowns of deciduous trees. Both views are found on one print, stuck on cardboard with margins of uneven width. The paperboard on the obverse is orange, with printed dark brown inscriptions, on the left: A PHOTOGRAPHER FROM NATURE, on the right, two lines: WALERY RZEWUSKI / IN KRAKÓW. The first letters of the photographer’s first and last name are decorated with a willow motif. The reverse is beige, with a handwritten inscription at the top: “The entrance gate to Jordan Park.”

Elaborated by Małgorzata Kanikuła (Museum of Photography in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Walery Rzewuski’s atelier — photo laboratories in the 2nd half of the 19th century

Walery Rzewuski’s atelier was one of the most famous photo laboratories in the 2nd half of the 19th century in Kraków. The atelier was fully equipped and the owner’s fame, resulting in financial success, allowed him to build a house which was a part of a photographic entourage, and which was arranged with great care. The residence with a garden at Kolejowa Street in Kraków (today’s Westerplatte Street) was designed according to the latest architectural trends.

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Walery Rzewuski’s atelier was one of the most famous photo laboratories in the 2nd half of the 19th century in Kraków. The atelier was fully equipped and the owner’s fame, resulting in financial success, allowed him to build a house which was a part of a photographic entourage, and which was arranged with great care. The residence with a garden at Kolejowa Street in Kraków (today’s Westerplatte Street) was designed according to the latest architectural trends.
Even the tiniest details emphasised the functions of the object — cupids playing with a camera and photographic equipment at the top of the building, a front door handle decorated with a bass relief of a stand and a camera.
The main atelier occupied an area of more than 100 m2 with a height of 10 m and a glazed ceiling, thanks to which it was possible to take pictures even with no sunlight and during adverse weather conditions.
A visit in the laboratory was a kind of a ritual — while waiting for his or her turn one could admire photographs depicting famous persons and exceptionally beautiful women shown in the hall.
In the atelier itself, there was a sitting room as well as a fairytale garden with a grotto, a fountain with water from a spring, flowers, ferns, oleanders and lemon trees. Landscapes and views of Kraków completed this picturesque scenery.
In the 2nd half of the 19th century, photographic ateliers, similarly to promenades and theatre foyers, constituted places for meetings, exchanging of thoughts but also for fashion creation (if a lady from the elite was photographed wearing a stunning outfit, other ladies immediately wanted to present similarly beautiful gowns).
The photography of those days presented in the showcases and halls of photo laboratories played a role similar to the importance of today’s colour magazines.
Although in the 21st century the sources of the creation of needs are different (the media, thanks to which photographs circulate around the world at a dizzying speed), the mechanisms associated with the need for identification are universal (let us just remind you of the reactions to Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s Wedding Day). Live coverage from the ceremony gave millions of people the opportunity to take part in the celebration of the event. The image of the wedding dress, kept secret until the very last moment, evoked an avalanche — thousands of brides around the world wanted to look just like the girl chosen by the Duke of Cambridge. A few moments after the end of the ceremony thousands of tailors became immersed in work in order to satisfy their clients with a replica of the duchess’ gown.

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See the photographs from Walery Rzewuski’s atelier:
Photograph The main gate to Dr. Henryk Jordan’s Park
Photograph Dr Henryk Jordan’s Park

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What cannot be seen in the photo of the Jordan Park

A gravelled alley and a square surrounded by shrubs. A view of the park captured in sepia colours. Although the very fact of taking a photo in the open at the end of the 19th century, when photography was confined to atelier decorations imitating nature is unusual, something else is also special here. It’s what cannot be seen.

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A gravelled alley and a square surrounded by shrubs. A view of the park captured in sepia colours. Although the very fact of taking a photo in the open at the end of the 19th century, when photography was confined to atelier decorations imitating nature is unusual, something else is also special here. It’s what cannot be seen.
The emptiness of this space in no way foretells the bustle caused by children for whom Jordan’s gardens, modelled after the park in Kraków, established in 1889, were a paradise.
Thanks to the idea of doctor Jordan, an area of 21.5 ha was designed and adapted to create the perfect playground.
Slides, swings, fitness trails, 12 pitches, a swimming pool, a track for athletics, and, in case of rain: a sports hall, porch, workshop rooms and clubhouses – designed for playing and manual work. In the garden, there was also... a dairy run by Ewelina Dobrzyńska, thanks to which children who were thirsty and tired of playing could have drunk a glass of milk (the activity of this establishment also played a vital role in feeding the youngest).
The solution implemented in Kraków quickly began to spread into other cities. Jordanian gardens were founded until the outbreak of World War II. Only in the post-war years, economics prevailed against the idea of good fun and well-rounded development of children – the gardens were considered too expensive, limited to arranging playgrounds in a way that we know today — a swing, sandpit ... While Jordan parks were supposed to enable all the activities of children and youth up to the age of 15, it is difficult to talk about attractions for teenagers in relation to modern playgrounds.
Henryk JordanPark  may be treated not only as an extraordinary item (proof of the stereoscopic technique creating an illusion of space which, in its, time was considered innovative), but also an excuse to exercise the imagination and an invitation to walk around the park – to confront two worlds, the one which we know, and the one that no longer exists.

Jordan Park operates in Kraków to this day on Aleja 3 Maja. When going for a walk, it is worth visiting the main building of the National Museum located just next to it and the Museum of Photography in Kraków several streets away.

Elaborated by: Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolskas Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See what toys children played at the beginning of the 20th century:

Toy “Lajkonik’s march” by Jan Oprocha (father)
Wooden toy — “A cart pulled by horses”

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The third dimension of the 19th century

19th century inventors sought for a method to render three-dimensionality of space; stereoscopic photography was one of such attempts. The technique consisted in taking two photographs from two various points of view. A print included two seemingly identical pictures...

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19th century inventors sought for a method to render three-dimensionality of space; stereoscopic photography was one of such attempts. The technique consisted in taking two photographs from two various points of view. A print included two seemingly identical pictures placed side by side (although one could sometimes find subtle differences between them). One could perceive the 3D effect by looking at the photograph taken on the right-hand side with their right eye and at the photograph on the left with their left eye.
A complete spatial illusion could be enjoyed only with a special tool – stereoscopic glasses, quite like today’s 3D glasses.
In the 2nd half of the 19th century, stereoscopes became so popular that they were a typical accessory in salons and one of the most popular forms of entertainment.

Kaiserpanorama of August Fuhrmann (fotoplastikon), 1880, source: wikipedia.orgCC-BY 3.0 PL

Additionally, a way to enjoy those 3D images outside the home during daily walks was possible. Squares and parks came to host kaiserpanoramas, windows to the world for many inhabitants (they showed not only the panoramas of nearby places but also distant and exotic ones, an example of which is a document from the opening of the Suez Canal).
You can see the magic of those facilities. Each of them usually included 25 stations. The exhibition at the Oskar Schindler’s Emalia Factory under the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków showed a kaiserpanorama brought from Kraków’s Szczepański Square. A similar device with a collection of 5,000 original stereoscopic photographs is available to visitors in Warsaw (Warsaw Fotoplastikon at 51 Aleje Jerozolimskie).

The collection from Małopolska’s Virtual Museums also includes a stereoscopic photograph – the print
showing Jordan’s Park was made in Walery Rzewuski’s Kraków studio, quite famous in the late 19th century.

Elaborated by Anna Berestecka (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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“The main gate to Henryk Jordan’s Park”

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