Inventive Histories

Inventive Histories
Part of Moderna Museet‘s photographic project Before and Behind the Lens, the exhibition Written in Light – The First Photographers explores the Museum’s collection of the medium from the second half of the 19th century. Open to the public throughout the summer months, the show includes Moderna Museet’s acquisitions of daguerreotypes and works by a selection of the world’s most famous photographers: Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Gustave Rejlander and Carleton E. Watkins.
Focusing on photography’s breakthrough invention and developments, as well as its repurposing for different aims and uses, the exhibition celebrates its legacy and its impressive impact on contemporary photography today. With the surge of digital images, and their omnipresence in social media, photography is once again in a period of change, providing a solid reason to look back and consider the medium’s roots.
Two major acquisitions in the mid-1960s – the Helmut Gernsheim Duplicate Collection and the Helmer Bäckström Photographic Collection – have provided the Museum with a diverse selection of work by internationally renowned artists. Curated by Anna Tellgren, the exhibition’s title draws directly from a translation of photography as “written in light”, and is an adaptation of a chapter in the project Another Story, which filled the entire collection exhibition with photography and photo-based art at Moderna Museet in 2011.
Written in Light – The First Photographers, until 3 September, Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
1. Carl Jacob Malmberg, No title. From the series Gymnastics, ca 1875.