The Madeira Photography Museum – Atelier Vicente’s, a space managed by the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture through the Regional Directorate for Culture, promotes, in partnership with MadeiraShopping, an exhibition of wet collodion photography from the Photographia Vicente collection.
The exhibition, part of the ‘Cultura no Centro’ project, reveals a set of images of landscapes in Madeira, dating from the mid-19th century. These photographs were originally captured through the historical analog process of Colódio Húmido, and portray both images of the natural landscape and urban scenes from various locations in Madeira. The exhibition will be entitled “Landscapes in the beginnings of Photographia Vicente” and brings together images that are, many of them, unknown to the general population. In this exhibition, a historical review of the Photographia Vicente and its transition to a museum space will also be outlined.
In addition to this activity, a museum technician will capture portraits, with a large-format analog camera, in an evocative setting of the 19th century studio Photographia Vicente. The photographs will be made in the process of gelatin and silver salts, which after being developed, will be delivered to those interested in the museum space store.
It should be remembered that the Madeira Photography Museum – Atelier Vicente’s is based on one of the only two existing 19th century photography studios in Portugal. Originally acquired in 1865 by Vicente Gomes da Silva (1827-1906), it has among its collection, sets, cameras, specialized furniture, frames with original photographs, books on photographic techniques and a valuable photographic archive, with around 4 million copies, which date back to the 1950s, in addition to having a core related to cinema.
“Atelier Vicente’s” maintained its commercial activity for four generations, until the 1970s, when it ceased to operate. In 1979, the Regional Government of Madeira acquired the entire collection of this studio, which, after being reclassified as a museum, was inaugurated on March 22, 1982, changing its name to Photographia – Museu “Vicentes”. In 2014, the museum closes for requalification work and reopens on July 29, 2019, now renamed Madeira Photography Museum.
In this new format, the museum presents, in addition to the reconstruction of the studio, a presentation of the history of photographic processes, from the daguerreotype to the first color photographs, passing through magic lantern devices and stereoscopy. It now offers a permanent exhibition space representing the various authors included in the collection, which includes the collection of practically all the great Madeiran photography houses from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as another temporary exhibition, which will display novelties on a regular.