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The Daguerreotype Day Helsinki 路 June 9th, 2014


The Daguerreotype Day Helsinki 路 June 9th, 2014 The Daguerreobase Day is organized by the Finnish Museum of Photography within the framework of the Daguerreobase project to promote the Daguerreobase project and gather together owners, researchers, and collectors of daguerreotypes around the Northern Baltic Sea. Daguerreobase is a European photographic heritage project with the ambitious goal of collecting over 25.000 daguerreotypes and related items into one searchable database where all the owners of daguerreotypes, whether they are museums, archives, or private collectors, are encouraged to register their daguerreotypes. Daguerreobase will be a unique research tool for daguerreotypes. In addition to the presentation of the Daguerreobase project, the symposium program includes presentations from Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the Baltic countries, as well as a presentation given by the Finnish contemporary daguerreotypist Jalo Porkkala. On the day after the symposium, June 10th, participants are invited to take part in organized visits to some daguerreotype museum collections in Helsinki. The symposium language is English. Symposium is free of charge. Cover photo and image above: daguerreotypes from the collection of the Finnish Museum of Photography. D2014:17/1 and D2014:57/10, respectively.


The Daguerreotype Day

Helsinki 路 June 9th, 2014






Daguerreotypes in Russia Kseniia Misiura-Aladova


Conservator and Art Historian, ROSPHOTO

Introduction Elina Heikka Director of the Finnish Museum of Photography


Daguerreotypes in Estonia Kadi Sikka


Conservator and Researcher, Film Archives of the National Archives of Estonia

Daguerreobase: Sharing Europe’s Earliest Photographs Agnes Wijers


Project Coordinator in Daguerreobase



Silver, Mercury and Gold –


Daguerreotypes in Lithuania

Understanding and Preserving Daguerreotypes

Vaida Sirvydaité Rakutiené

Sandra Maria Petrillo

Head of Department of Photography and Documentation at the

Photographic Conservator, Partner of the Daguerreobase International Consortium


Coffee break


Swedish Daguerreotypes

M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art


Notes on a Modern Daguerreotype Process Jalo Porkkala Finnish Photographer, Researcher, and Teacher

Björn Axel Johansson Independent Photohistorian


Daguerreotypes in the collection of the Finnish Museum of Photography


Daguerreotypes in Latvia 17:00

Maira Dudareva Head of Latvian Museum of Photography



Lunch break


* Please, find enclosed the additional program for June 10th in the inner pages of this leaflet.

The Daguerreotype Day

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Speakers and abstracts

Agnes Wijers

nections. She is trained as an artist at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunst in Tilburg, The

Daguerreobase: Sharing Europe’s Earliest Photographs

Netherlands, specialized in drawing, painting, and photography. She has been working in the

The Daguerreobase project is a public platform and Best Practice Network of archives, librar-

tecture. Her emphasis has always been on international affairs, international networks, and

ies, museums, and private contributors from across Europe, collecting and preserving information on daguerreotypes.

Generally speaking, daguerreotypes in museum collections are safely stored away. Cross con-

nections and relationships between these collections therefore seldom come to light, though

cultural sector in The Netherlands in the fields of photography, contemporary art, and archi-

projects. Agnes represents the FotoMuseum Provincie Antwerpen as the project leader of the Daguerreobase project and works currently, within her own firm, on a big overview exhibition on contemporary art and philosophy for the Ketelfactory in Schiedam, The Netherlands.

they are often precisely the missing piece of the puzzle for researchers.

Daguerreobase is intended to stimulate and simplify research in the field of the daguerreotype, and similarly to offer a broad, free access to this unique facet of our global cultural heritage.

This is one of the aims of the current Daguerreobase project, to develop a common database, but also to spread best practice in the collection and dissemination of information on European

Sandra Maria Petrillo Silver, Mercury and Gold – Understanding and Preserving Daguerreotypes

daguerreotypes. Daguerreobase will be a knowledge base designed by and for all of those in-

In 1839, there was a public announcement introducing the daguerreotype process, which had

Daguerreobase creates standards for the description and digitization of daguerreotype ob-

tion and major changes in Europe’s political and social environment. The invention of the da-

terested in Europe’s diverse cultural heritage.

jects to facilitate the uniform description of the many aspects of the daguerreotype objects. This will include a multilingual set of thesauri or entries lists for daguerreotypes, and an en-

vironment to create and evolve that terminology in permanent compliancy with Europeana. The Daguerreobase project brought together 18 partners coming from 13 European countries; in-

cluding private and public institutions, private-collectors and photograph conservators. The content will become available on the renewed website and through, the portal and digital library for European Cultural Heritage of the European Union.

The project is partially funded under the Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community (

Agnes Wijers is a cultural entrepreneur who owns and works at Agnes Wijers | Cultural Con-


The Daguerreotype Day

been invented by L. J. M. Daguerre. This announcement coincided with the industrial revoluguerreotype was destined to change the way in which reality was represented, with profound

social repercussions. It was the first photographic process to enjoy worldwide commercial adoption, and by 1843, the technique had been perfected to such an extent that it remained dominant until 1855, particularly in the United States.

During the daguerreian era, about thirty million daguerreotypes were made in Europe and

North America. Today, only a small fraction of these have survived due to neglect, ignorance, or because they have been damaged. These rare precious artefacts belong to the advent of

photography, and were the result of a real technological miracle. Today, more than ever before, they are recognised as being a “unique and irreplaceable” part of the world’s cultural heritage. They form part of many important collections around the world, and over the past few

decades, daguerreotype images have attracted interest from photograph collectors, and the value that some important daguerreotypes have achieved on the art’s market is considerable.

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Speakers and abstracts

Because of the vulnerability of the image layer, which can be easily damaged or even destroyed, it is crucial that all remaining daguerreotypes are recorded and documented in or-

der to gather future scientific and historical knowledge, as well as to optimise their long term

Björn Axel Johansson Swedish Daguerreotypes

preservation and accessibility. This is the goal of the photographic heritage project Daguerre-

The presentation will focus on the pioneers in the 1840s and the society they lived in. There will

descriptions for its online database, accessible on

The first rumours from Paris reached Sweden in January 1839. The news came via foreign pa-

obase, which is supported by the European Union and whose work is to assemble images and

On June 15th, the first issue of The Daguerreotype Journal, a free quarterly online multimedia

publication will be published on the Daguerreobase website. The aim of this journal, which is published by the recently founded European Daguerreotype Association (EDA), is to share

and promote the international cultural and visual heritage of daguerreotypes by presenting a variety of themes that deal with daguerreotype images and the daguerreotype itself.

Furthermore, in August 2014, in celebration of 175 years of photography, a virtual exhibition showcasing the best European daguerreotype images will be hosted on the Europeana cultural heritage portal.

Sandra M. Petrillo is a Photographic conservator, SMP Photoconservation, Italy. She was awarded an MA in Art History from the University La Sapienza of Rome and an MA in Art Con-

servation, specialising in Photography, from IFROA-INP of Paris. Since 1996, she has worked as a freelance conservator in France, for the ARCP of Paris, in Luxembourg, and in the USA.

In 2009, she established a private practice in Italy, SMP Photoconservation, which specialises in conservation, surveys, and digitizing photographic collections. She has a number of

publications to her name, including: “Papier albuminé mat” in the Vocabulaire technique de

la photographie (Paris, 2008) and the essay “Conservazione e restauro dei materiali fotogra-

fici” for the Enciclopedia Italiana of the 21st Century (Rome, 2010). At the University of Rome

Tor Vergata, she teaches courses in conservation of photographic material. She also curates

the journal for conservation KERMES La rivista del restauro, and authors the column “Materia

Photographica,” which provides information on current scientific topics in the field of photographic conservation and preservation.


The Daguerreotype Day

also be references to the situation in Sweden today, as to new findings of daguerreotypes, etc.

pers that were sent by post. In an icy winter, it could take two to three weeks. The following months, the press followed the development step by step until Daguerre revealed all his secrets on August 19th. His pamphlet was published in Swedish on December 24th.

In the summer of 1840, the first Swedish daguerreotypists were at work in Stockholm. At the same time, the first foreign daguerreotypist arrived in the capital and exhibited a handful of pictures. The first public exhibition with Swedish pictures was held in the Royal Palace at the end of the summer.

Sweden was in 1840 a pre-industrial country. Only 10 percent of the population lived in the

cities, mostly small towns with an average of 2.000-3.000 inhabitants. These markets were not large enough for any special trades and the result was travelling specialists, e.g. opticians, engravers, etc. The early daguerreotypists joined this travelling community.

Sweden was also a country with long distances for all travelers. The first professional daguerreotypist in Sweden, lieutenant Benzelstjerna, with a camera from Daguerre himself, used whenever possible a new way of travelling – steamboats with fixed timetables. He covered south east Sweden in 1841–1842 and demonstrated Daguerre’s photographic invention.

His commercial approach combined a paying audience with an exhibition of pictures for sale.

The views showed solely streets, buildings, bridges, etc., without people. The lieutenant did

not improve his technique and did not take portraits. But the first photographer in Sweden with an indoor photo-studio, Johan Sevén, was already established in Stockholm. Soon a couple of foreign daguerreotypists would also arrive from the Continent.

It’s possible to track the activities of these pioneers through their adds in the press. Fortunately almost all towns – down to c. 1.000-1.500 inhabitants – did have their own regular paper

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Speakers and abstracts

even if they were very thin and were published only one or two days per week. But still, the

few seconds using his own method in the shadow in heated room. Price - 5rubl.” The first local

on this photographic period in Sweden. Solid and basic.

The first daguerreotype studio was opened by the painter and graphic artist E. Schabert in

travelling photographers always did put an ad in them. This is the main source of information Relatively few of these early daguerreotypes, though, have been found and identified. Limited knowledge is one reason why more pictures have not been detected. Earlier on have some

of them, for instance, been catalogued as “objects” and not photographs. But things have changed during the last years. Today there is much more focus on our oldest photographic heritage; now and then there are reports of new and interesting findings.

One important factor, that has not yet been fully considered though, is the international as-

pect of the daguerreotypes. It seems, for example, that Swedish emigrants of all sorts have sent pictures to the old country and vice versa. This aspect has not been investigated in Sweden; international cooperation might be rewarding.

Björn Axel Johansson has, as an independent photohistorian, published several books and major articles on the history of photo in Sweden, for example: The First Photographers (2005),

Family Pictures (2010), and, as an adviser at the Royal Palace, The Journey to Egypt/Queen

Victoria’s Photographic World (2012).

daguerreotype studios in Riga belonged to German photographers.

Jelgava (a city some 50 km far from Riga), in the year 1843. In the 50s of the 19th century, there

were two daguerreotype studios in Riga, which belonged to photographers Poniks and Split. In the year 1926, the Latvian Association of Photography organized their 20th anniversary exhibition, there was an exhibition of daguerreotypes in part of it, named historical. There were exhibited around 200 daguerreotypes *. Currently at the collection of the Latvian Museum of

Photography are two daguerreotypes, also there are two daguerreotypes at the collection of the National Archives of Latvia, possibly two at the Liepaja Museum, and seven are owned by

the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, which can be seen at the historical exhibition of the Latvian Museum of Photography.

The Latvian Museum of Photography is the only museum in Riga devoted to photography.

The museum is a division of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation and is open for visitors since 1993. The permanent exhibition, while depicting the history of photography in Latvia from 1839 to 1940, simultaneously allows to apprehend the materiality of the pho-

tographic medium, which in the present age of the digital is often forgotten. The first types of the photographic image – daguerreotypes and ambrotypes in the museum’s collection clearly exhibit the specific nature of the photographic art – that of the imprint of light. Among the historical cameras on display the most unique is the world-renowned Minox. The 7cm miniature

Maira Dudareva

camera was originally manufactured in Latvia in the 1930s. In twenty years the collection of

Daguerreotypes in Latvia

the museum has increased by 42.000 items.

The first article about daguerreotypes in Riga appeared in the German magazine Rigasche Zei-

* Information published by P.Korsaks in Latvian art photography-history and contemporaneity.

photographers: in the year 1842, the German magazine Das Inland writes about the French

Maira Dudareva, head of the Latvian Museum of Photography, has a long running experi-

the following information: “In Riga Dr. Labbey from Paris makes daguerreotype portraits in

paper Diena (1999–2008), the photo reporter of the newspapers Zemgales zinas and

tung, on the 10th of August 1839. The first daguerreotypes in Latvia were made by travelling

photographer Doctor Bodo de Grandin. In the year 1844, in the same magazine can be found


The Daguerreotype Day

ence in photography. She worked as the manager of the photo archive of the daily news-

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Speakers and abstracts

Zemgales avize (1992–1998). She did her MA research, Digital Photography Indexation,

types look like. After starting collaboration with most of Russian museums, sending a lot of

doctoral program.

answered that yes, they have few of daguerreotypes in their collection.

at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Latvia, where she is still enrolled in a

letters and orginising workshops dedicated to identification of photographs, many museums

Our next step was to have photos of all daguerreotypes in Russian museums. It was very

complicated task. Not many museums in Russia have special equipment and photographer

who can make photos of daguerreotypes. So we had to send our specialist to the museums

Kseniia Misiura-Aladova

all over Russia. Of course, it was very complicated because our country is really huge. After

Daguerreotypes in Russia

many months of work finally we had shots of museums daguerreotypes.

Dear colleagues, thank you for the invitation for this symposium dedicated to daguerreotypes

museums only 1 or 2 of them. All over Russia there is not more than 800 daguerreotypes. It

and for organising this meeting. Today I am representing here the state museum and exhibition center ROSPHOTO. We are located in the historical center of Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. In our museum we have our own collection of photographs, which now amounts

to about 25.000 items. We have conservation and restoration studio, and several state pro-

We discovered that most of museums have not more than 10 to 15 daguerreotypes, many seems to be not very much and not a lot of work to do with it. But as many of them were unnamed, we had to find who is represented on the plate. And we started another complicated work: to attribute the images.

grammes dedicated to conservation and preservation of photographic heritage. The other

Kseniia Misiura-Aladova works in ROSPHOTO since 2009. She is restorer and conservator

show some original photographs from our collection in our walls.

rian, and participates in international workshops. She is the leading specialist of the state

direction of our work is making exhibitions both in ROSPHOTO and abroad. Sometimes we

The problem of learning about Russian daguerreotypes now is very present for us. Daguerreo-

types always were very rare things of luxury in Russia. Mostly there were portraits and very little percent of landscapes, interiors, and reproductions of paintings. Moreover, after all the

of photographs and other objects on paper. Kseniia has a degree as restorer and art histoconservation program of documentary photographs and is involved in the project Russian daguerreotype catalogue.

wars of the 20th century and prohibition of memories of monarchs in Russia during the soviet

era, the quantity of daguerreotypes was reduced in many times. Those daguerreotypes that appeared in museums during the soviet era were frequently unnamed.

The aim with which we started to think of was to research and to unite all museum daguerreotypes in Russian Federation in a number of editions; to attribute them and to create a cata-

Kadi Sikka Daguerreotypes in Estonia

logue of Russian daguerreotypes.

This presentation will provide an insight into the history of the daguerreotype process in

many collection managers never saw daguerreotypes and they did not know how daguerreo-

tographic collections. News about Daguerre’s invention spread widely among the German-

The first problem was to clear them up in museum collections. As they are very rare things,


The Daguerreotype Day

Estonia and will give an overview of the situation on daguerreotypes in the Estonian pho-

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Speakers and abstracts

speaking people. For this reason, it is believed that those who read German newspapers in Estonia became aware of this photographic process shortly after the first announcement.

First notes about making and selling daguerreotypes, as well as equipment, in Estonia were

Vaida Sirvydaitė Rakutienė Daguerreotypes in Lithuania **

published in newspapers in 1840. However, the oldest daguerreotype that we know of so

The eminent historian of photography Naomi Rosenblum mentioned Lithuania as one of the

Russia). The oldest daguerreotype which was made in Estonia and also preserved here at the

by February 1839. The Lithuanian researcher Dainius Junevičius specified the date of the first

far in Estonian photographic collections is dated around 1844 (but taken in Saint Petersburg,

museum’s collection is a daguerreotype portrait taken by Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Borchardt (1816-1899) in Tallinn several years later, around 1850. During the 1840s, eight daguerreotypists travelled through Estonia, taking photographs in Tallinn and Tartu. They were either coming from or heading to Finland, Russia, or elsewhere.

Today, only 23 daguerreotypes are known to exist in the collections of Estonian museums,

archives, and libraries. Most of the photographers are unknown and several daguerreotypes

were probably not taken in Estonia. Unfortunately, many of them are in poor condition. As the daguerreotypes held within the private collections have not been examined yet, it is likely that there are more than 23 of them situated in Estonia.

Kadi Sikka is a member of the Estonian Photographic Heritage Society. She studied Cultural

Heritage and Conservation at the Estonian Academy of Arts and specialised in conservation of photographs. During her studies, she completed internships at the Estonian History Museum

in Tallinn, at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu, and at the SMP Photoconservation in Italy. She also attended the Master’s Programme in Conservation of New Media and Digital

Information as an exchange student at the Stuttgart State Academy of Fine Arts in Germany.

Since 2013, she has been working as a conservator and researcher at the Film Archives of the National Archives of Estonia, Tallinn, where she is responsible for the care of the photographic

collection. She has also participated in several workshops on historic photographic processes in Estonia and abroad. Her areas of research have covered historic photographic materials as well as Estonian photographic history.


first countries where the discovery of photography had already been announced in the press announcement making reference to the Vilnius newspaper Kurier Wileński in 1839 (February 14th). The first circumstance of photography in Lithuania was recorded by architect Bolesław

Podczaszyński. In his reminiscences, he described how he had participated with his father Karol Podczaszyński in the reconstruction work of the Verkiai estate on the edge of Vilnius in

the summer of 1839, and observed the making of daguerreotype of Marcillaco, the governess of the children of the mansion’s owner, Count Ludwig Wittgenstein. The fate of the first Lithuanian daguerreotypes, images of Verkiai mansion, is unknown, unfortunately.

The first practitioner of the art of daguerreotype known to have arrived in Vilnius was C. Ziegler. In 1843, he established a shop on St. George (now Gediminas) Avenue, while the

Oliwier shop on Pilis (Castle) Street advertised portraits of its own making. Leon Ginzburg

also had arrived in Vilnius in 1843. He offered a wider set of services: made daguerreotypes,

taught the art of making daguerreotypes, and sold photographic equipment and materials. In 1844, on his way from Warsaw on Saint Petersburg, Friedrich Danner stayed in Vilnius to Didžioji (Great) Street. Proclaiming himself to be a chemist and a technician, he not only

made daguerreotypes and tinted portraits, but tried to improve on the process as well. The shop of Vilnius resident Šlioma Rozenson operated in Vilnius with intervals between 1845 and 1863. Rozenson learned the photographer’s profession while he was travelling

and studying abroad. He offered his services to the residents of towns and villages, and travelled to other Russian provinces. In 1850, Mindelson worked in Vilnius. In 1851, Charles Neupert arrived from Norway and established himself here. For the summer he went to the

then popular local resort of Druskininkai to make photographs. In 1854, the Berlin photog-

rapher Otto Neuschaeffer came to Vilnius. Intending to go to Moscow, he and his brother

The Daguerreotype Day

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Speakers and abstracts

Ludwig closed the shop they had in Warsaw. For a short time, they established themselves in Kaunas, and later moved to Vilnius.

The origin of the photographs held in the collections of Lithuania’s museums is quite varied.

Jalo Porkkala Notes on a Modern Daguerreotype Process

A portion of them trace their origin to Eastern Europe, occupied and annexed tsarist Russia,

There are two common processes used in making daguerreotype photographs: the traditional

regardless of such different geographical origins, the photographs are connected in one way

tional method is that it uses dangerous bromine and mercury vapors to sensitize and develop

Lithuania, Poland, and western Russia, and still another portion are from America. However, or another with Lithuania. There are portraits of 19th century inhabitants of Lithuania, or their relatives and friends, images of Lithuanians who emigrated across the Atlantic and founded

their own ethnic community in America, and, finally, objects of collections accumulated in Lithuania or items that caught the eye of Lithuanian collectors.

** The resume is prepared according to the catalogue Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes, and Tintypes held in

Lithuanian Museums, compiled by Margarita Matulytė and published by the National Museum of Lithuania, 2000. Excerpts by Margarita Matulytė from the pages 116-117.

mercury process and the so-called Becquerel process. One of the problems with the tradithe image, thus being beyond a normal darkroom worker’s reach. However, soon after the daguerreotype’s invention the safer Becquerel alternative was discovered. It uses filtered light

to develop the image and is far less toxic than the mercury process. To attempt to solve the

issues of toxicity I am working with the Becquerel process, using both traditional and modernized methods, partly including also digital techniques in my workflow. In my presentation I will cover my working methods, equipment, results so far, and some plans for the future,

both from an artistic and a technical point of view. I will also present some of my original daguerreotype works.

Vaida Sirvydaitė Rakutienė is the head of the Department of Photography and Documen-

Photographer Jalo Porkkala has worked on numerous photographic projects since the 1970s,

tography, archives of Lithuanian artists, societies, and organizations) are preserved. She has

he has also worked as a teacher of photography, printmaking, and computer graphics. When

tation, where the historical, cultural, and artistic materials (ancient manuscripts, maps, phoworked seven years as the museum professional and eleven years as the head of the men-

tioned department. From 2012, Vaida Sirvydaitė Rakutienė is a member of Section Board for the Scientific Research of Collections in Association of Lithuanian Museums. Late off she has

been concentrated on the project Europeana Photography, where she has had responsibility for representing daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes held at the M. K. Čiurlionis Na-

including photojournalism, museum/theatre photography, and freelance work. Since 1990

working at a museum he became interested in historical and alternative photographic processes, which he is currently studying and teaching. From 1979 to 2014 he has been granted

awards in Finland for artistic work and research, and he has exhibited his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions since 1979.

tional Museum of Art.


The Daguerreotype Day

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Further information

Organizing team

The Daguerreotype Day  |  Helsinki · June 9th, 2014

Sanna Lipponen, Coordinator E-mail:

Organized by

Phone: +358 40 7211 022

Riitta Koskivirta, Conservator E-mail: Phone: +358 43 824 0540

The Finnish Museum of Photography

With the cooperation of

The Cable Factory Tallberginkatu 1 G, 00180 Helsinki

How to get to the Cable Factory By metro: Ruoholahti station. By tram: number 8.

By bus: numbers 20, 21V, 65A, or 66A.

The Daguerreobase project is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme

For further information, please visit:

(ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community (  |


The Daguerreotype Day

Helsinki · June 9th, 2014


Daguerreotype from the collection of the Finnish Museum of Photography. D2014:57/4. Collective Cataloguing Tool for Daguerreotypes

The Daguerreotype Day - Helsinki, June 9th  

The Daguerreobase Day is organized by the Finnish Museum of Photography within the framework of the Daguerreobase project to promote the Dag...

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