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The photograph shows an alley in Henryk Jordan’s Park with two distant busts of famous personalities. The white marble-sculpted busts are a noteworthy detail, the Barthesian punctum, or the intriguing elements of the picture. The bushes make up an evenly trimmed hedge. It is a stereoscopic photograph, a single print with two separate shots.

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The photograph shows an alley in Henryk Jordan’s Park with two distant busts of famous personalities. The white marble-sculpted busts are a noteworthy detail, the Barthesian punctum, or the intriguing elements of the picture. The bushes make up an evenly trimmed hedge. It is a stereoscopic photograph, a single print with two separate shots. Among the numerous stereoscopic photographs in the collection from the Museum of Photography, this particular photograph is especially valuable for its authorship (the Rzewuski brothers) and the view of the park right after it had been established. The photograph is glued to the cardboard, margins uneven in width, orange cardboard on the face side, the inscription “Walery Rzewuski in Kraków” on the right-hand side and “Photographed as is” on the left-hand side. The picture was shot outdoors by Lesław Rzewuski (he took photographs outdoors for his brother Walery Rzewuski) and developed them in Walery Rzewuski’s Kraków photo lab in the 1890s by using the dry film technique and gelatine emulsion. The back consists of a beige cardboard with the inscription “Jordan’s City Park” hand-written in its upper part.
In 1889, on Henryk Jordan’s initiative, a park was developed on the Czarna Wieś meadow, where a farming and industrial exhibition was organised in 1887. The park design encompassed numerous pavilions, a summer fitness hall, a dairy offering snacks for those exercising, a summer house rotunda — a venue for orchestras. Additionally, the park featured busts of famous personalities sculpted in Tyrol’s marble.
Henryk Jordan was born to an impoverished noble family in Przemyśl in 1842. He studied medicine in Vienna yet completed his studies at the Faculty of Medicine at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He was marked by his indefatigable exuberance and rewarded those exercising at his own cost (by donating saving books with a deposit).

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

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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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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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How was the three-dimensional effect obtained in the 19th century?

Stereoscopic photography was the first three-dimensional photography in history. It developed after 1851. Then, it was demonstrated for the first time at the London World Exposition, where spatial photographs aroused the delight of Queen Victoria. From that time on, stereoscopic photography became the entertainment of the bourgeoisie, and it was not until the 1930s — when fascination with film and radio began — that stereoscopy was reduced to the role of a children’s toy.

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Stereoscopic photography was the first three-dimensional photography in history. It developed after 1851. Then, it was demonstrated for the first time at the London World Exposition, where spatial photographs aroused the delight of Queen Victoria. From that time on, stereoscopic photography became the entertainment of the bourgeoisie, and it was not until the 1930s — when fascination with film and radio began — that stereoscopy was reduced to the role of a children’s toy. An optical instrument is used for viewing images in stereoscopy: a stereoscope. Stereoscopic photography consists of two photographs of the same object, made from different points of view. The viewer — looking through the stereoscope — gets the impression of the spatiality and three-dimensionality of the scene being viewed. Stereoscopy is one of the imaging techniques reflecting the impression of spatial vision and the depth of the image under observation. Today, stereoscopy is a 3D technique, obtaining images by reproducing the binocular visual effect, which gives the impression of depth. They are obtained by creating anaglyph paintings. The anaglyph method has gained popularity thanks to computer processing.
Stereoscopy requires the delivery of two images seen from the perspective of both the left and right eye to the brain. For this purpose, a pair of two-dimensional images (stereo pairs) are registered, representing the object or scene from two points of view, spaced as far apart from one another as the observer’s eyes. The images differ according to the angle of view of the objects concerned.
What is the history of this technique? An Italian physicist, Giambattista Della Porta (1538–1615), wrote about creating the illusion of spatial vision in 1593. His work was forgotten; it was not until 1838 that an English physicist, Sir Charles Wheatstone, built a camera for viewing spatial images and named it a stereoscope (it was a reflective stereoscope). He ordered a few pairs of photos (talbotypes) from William H. Fox Talbot. Ten years later, David Brewster improved Wheatstone’s idea. A pair of photos was made with a camera with two lenses, and it amazed everybody with its naturalistic projection of space. The photographs were presented, as already mentioned, in 1851. In 1861, the American, Oliver Wendel Holmes, constructed a light stereoscope. He did not patent his design, which spread greatly. The development of stereoscopic photography began when — in 1871 — dry glass plates with a gelatine emulsion were invented, which were sensitive and liberated photographers from the proximity to their photographic darkrooms. In the 19th century, mass-produced copies of stereoscopic images began to enter the market. Walery Rzewuski soon applied the new technique in his photographic atelier.

See also: 
The “Mercury” Stereoscope viewer by Underwood & Underwood, Stereoscopic camera by Heinrich Ernemann A.G. Company and Duchessa Stereo — stereoscopic camera by Contessa Nettel A.G. Company.

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

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“Henryk Jordan’s Park”

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