"Drømmer om Orienten og Vesten"

Ved Devonshires House i london ble det i 1897 arangert et kostymeball som en del av feiringen av Dronning Victorias 60 år ved makten i Storbritania.
Unike portrettbilder av de prominente gjester stilles ut ved Levanger Museum.


Som en del av feiringen av Dronning Victorias 60 år ved makten i Storbritannia arrangerte hertuginnen av Devonshire et storstilt kostymeball. Med sin fasjonable beliggelse og imponerende interiør var Devonshire House London et naturlig sted for hendelsen. Over 700 invitasjoner ble sendt ut i forkant av ballet.
Fotografifirmaet Lafayette ble invitert for å forevige severdigheten. Det ble satt opp et telt i hagen som midlertidig studio.

De historiske og mytisk utkledde gjestene ble fotografert foran oppsatte lerreter malt med motiver fra husets hage, eller andre ønkelige bakgrunner. Ikke alle gjestene ble fotografert. Mest trolig kom dette av tidsbegrensninger både når det gjaldt bekledning og fototekniske hensyn. Lafayettes arkiv på V&A har de eneste negativene fra ballet vi kjenner til i dag.
Det er med bakgrunn i disse negativene satt opp en utstilling i levanger museum, som viser bildene fra kostymeballet i Devonshire House. Kommende Kong Haakon og Dronning Maud (Prins Carl og Princess Maud) er et av bildene fra utstillingen. Her tilstede på ballet sammen med Prinsesse Victoria av Storbritania før de viste om sin fremtid i Norge.
Inspirasjonen for kostymet er fra det danske hoff på 1600talllet.

"Denne utstillingen er den første i sitt slag mellom Levanger Museum, og Victoria & Albert Museum i London.

Bildene har alle blitt digitalt renset, forberedt og skrivet ut for denne utstillingen ved kurator og V & A Photographic Studio med eksperthjelp av Claire Johnson.

Valget av portretter er et forsøk på å vise hvordan sen-viktorianske sinn, på en natt i 1897, ga etter for sine fantasier. Stort sett frigjort fra pengebegrensninger, tolket personene i disse portrettene sine drømmer om historie og mytologi ved å gjenspeile kremen av litteratur, maleri, poesi og musikk. En god del av kostymene er av karakter fra orientalsk fantasi. Personlighetene som er avbildet under dette kostymeballet gir oss et innblikk i hvordan vesten drømte seg inn i en liknende romantisk tid."

Russell Harris (Victoria og Albert Museum)
maud_filmstrip.r.jpg"At the Duchess of Devonshire`s historic ball at Devonshire House last Week, a photographic studio formed part of the arrangements, and we read that a camera was much in request to record some of the wonderfully accurate costumes worn by the guests. These included the creme de la creme of Society, from Royalty downwards, and some of the most celebrated men and women of history were personified. A photographic record of the scene and those who took part in it was no doubt secured, and in future times, when the doings of great year are calmly narrated in clam"

Photographic News, 9 July 1897












Devonshire House, built 1735-7 by William Kent for00080.h.jpg
the 3rd Duke of Devonshire, was situated on Piccadilly, one of London's most fashionable sites with a view down across Green Park to Buckingham Palace and with a huge landscaped garden behind which stretched all the way up to the current Berkeley Square.

The exterior was of plain unclad brickwork and it was shielded from the street by a high brick wall, giving passers-by the impression that it was "cheerless and unsocial by day, and terrible by night..." However, the exterior hid some of the most imposing interiors of any of London's grand houses and its collection of paintings was much praised.

Louisa, Duchess of Devonshire (1832-1911) was one of London's foremost political hostesses, and as such, when word got around that she was planning a costume ball to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee on 2 July 1897, there was no 1590.h.jpgattempt by other London hostesses to hold a competing event. Instead, they invested all their efforts into ensuring that they were on the guest list. As the respected mother of the nation, Queen Victoria's sixtieth anniversary on the throne along with her recently acquired extra title as Empress of India, her jubilee was celebrated, in the press at least, with a feeling of exhilaration and respect tinged with hysteria.

By this time of her life, Queen Victoria had been a black-clad and gloomy widow for 38 years, cheerless at her childrens' weddings and fiercely critical in her private journal of almost everyone around her. Sometimes she was not too popular with other royalties, and Grand Duchess Olga of Russia remembered her father, the Tsar, referring to her as "'that nasty, interfering old woman." To the common man, however, the Queen-Empress loomed large as a dear woman who had steered the empire to a hitherto unimaginable size - throughout the whole of which1335.h.jpg her jubilee would be celebrated in a myriad ways. Statues were erected, street parties held, tea parties, balls and civic events were organised throughout the empire, songs and poems composed for the occasion, and of course a whole industry of Diamond Jubilee souvenir item manufacture sprang up.

In order to commemorate the Duchess of Devonshire's much anticipated costume ball, the London photographic firm of Lafayette, who had ten years previously been awarded a Royal Warrant, was invited to set up a tent in the garden behind the house to photograph the guests in costume during the Ball. This would have been a formidable commission for James Stack Lauder, the owner of the firm, and evidence from the extant negatives shows that he had transported from the Bond Street studio a variety of backdrops and props and, of course, photographic equipment.

Lafayette's remit was to photograph guests who would be in costumes ranging from mythological and ancient Greek down to renaissance and oriental characters, and in order to capture the sense of event and location, the studio prepared a new backdrop (a painted canvas stretched on a wooden frame) which represented the lawn and gardens of Devonshire House complete with statuary. In the event of guests desiring a different background, the studio also transported its baronial hall and country estate backdrops as well as some studio balustrade, a piece of wall and a Turkish carpet.

More than 700 invitations to the Ball were sent out a month before the event - although reports of the event stated numbers up to 3,000 - which led to a rush of aristocratic women studying portraits and engravings of ladies "robed for coronation or beheading" in London museums and in turn there ensued an almighty battle to gain the time of the best dressmakers, wigmakers, theatrical costumiers and even metalworkers in London and Paris.

Even though the concept of a career, and particularly a career on stage, was anathema to the British upper classes, it had long been acceptable for woman specifically to perform (usually singing) in front of a select audience provided the event was for charity. Princess Daisy of Pless in particular was renowned for her fine voice. Additionally, dressing up in historical costume to present a tableau vivant was a popular and respectable amusement and means of shedding some of the period's cast-iron inhibitions - even at the sullen court of Queen Victoria.

Those invited to the Ball spent fortunes on their costumes which in almost all cases were worn only for this event. The couturier Jean Worth of Paris wrote of "a number of freak orders taken" by his establishment, for which each pearl and diamond was sewn on by hand. One piece of jewelled embroidery kept several girls busy for almost a month, and he claimed that the most expensive costume cost 5,000 francs.

The Duchess of Devonshire instructed her guests to dress around the theme of certain courts, both mythical and temporal. They were to form various processions and perform a quadrille - for which many people practised for weeks. While some guests took their instructions literally, others modelled themselves upon paintings, and thus fell into more amorphous costume groupings, such as "17th century" or "Venetians."

Guests at the Ball fell into two distinct groups, obliged to ignore each others' shortcomings for the sake of form. The majority of the aristocracy were rigidly respectable and conservative in outlook whereas the behaviour of the circle around the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was so "fast" that Queen Victoria wished to have nothing to do with "Society". Memoirs of the time reveal the frenetic bedroom-swapping activities that took place in the great country houses where a gentleman was expected to be back in his own bed by 4:30 a.m. - just before the servants set about their first daily duties.

As the royal residences were too hallowed for this sort of activity, Edward spent much of his time progressing around the country and visiting the stately homes and palaces of his friends where, as part of the entertainments, a good day's game shooting was proved to have an aphrodisiac effect on both the men and women. Among the images seen here, Daisy of Warwick, Daisy of Pless and Mrs James are known to have been intimate with the Prince of Wales, whose wife, Alexandra, turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to his wanderings and absorbed herself with her children who almost worshipped her.

There is no accounting as to why only certain guests were photographed during the Ball, but it can be assumed that, due to the complexity of their costumes and the exposure times needed for the glass plate negatives, there simply was not enough time to capture all the guests. In a newspaper interview the following years, James Lafayette claimed to have photographed 200 sitters in four and a half hours â€" a staggering speed of 1 minute 21 seconds per photograph! Additionally, perhaps not all the male guests were keen to be memorialised looking like a “tomfoolâ€� â€" as the Hon Reginald Baliol Brett (later 2nd Viscount Esher) complained in his diary!

The knowledge that an album would be published with portraits of the guests in costume may well have led those who were not satisfied with the results of the hurried photographic session at the Ball to visit the Lafayette studio once or twice more with their costumes - some people up to six months after the event. The record of the event was finally published privately in 1899 and contains images made by various leading photography studios. The Lafayette archive at the V&A contains the only known surviving negatives by any photographer from the occasion.

There was huge press excitement surrounding the Ball, and crowds thronged Piccadilly on the night to watch the illustrious and heavily bejewelled and fantastically-costumed guests arriving in their carriages. From the enormous amount written in newspapers following the Ball and the fact that different publications describe costumes in some cases in identical wording, it is obvious that many of the guests or their costumiers made available detailed costume descriptions in order that they could be reported correctly and with all their pertinent details. In their eagerness to report on the Ball, many newspapers, in their next day's edition, also carried line drawings of the guests in costume and images from the ball would be published over the coming months in a variety of illustrated magazines.

The commission from the Duchess of Devonshire to photograph the Ball would have brought enormous publicity value to the firm of Lafayette who opened their first London studio in 1897 to capitalise on the capital's commercial bulge during the jubilee year. Indeed, contact sheets found in display albums from the London studio show that the firm's regular customers could order prints of the Ball's guests in costume. Only some very few original prints from the Ball are known to exist. In 1924, almost three hundred years after it was built, Devonshire House was demolished to make way for an office block, whose ground floor is now occupied by Marks & Spencer and the Green Park Tube station. Only the magnificent wrought iron gates of the house survived complete with their sphinx-topped Greek revival piers, relocated to the edge of Green Park on the opposite side of Piccadilly where they can still be seen.




"Da krigen kom"


Som en del av 70 års markeringen stiller Levanger Museum ut bilder fra aprildagene i 1940. De fleste tatt i Levanger og omegn av Per og Harald Renbjør, noen bilder ble også tatt av tyske soldater. Bildene er i hovedsak fra Levanger, men det vises også foto fra Namsos, Verdal og Steinkjær.
Bildene viser hverdagslivet under krigen. Flere av bildene fra utstillingen er fargefotografi.
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STIKLESTADMUSEA AVD. LEVANGER PRESENTERER: "KRIGSBILDER"
BILDER TATT AV TYSKE SOLDATER I 2. VERDENSKRIG

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Tyske soldater ble oppfordret til å fotografere under sitt opphold i Norge. Soldatene som holdt til i Levanger leverte sine bilder til Per Renbjør. På natten fikk han tatt kopi av filmene. De fleste motivene er fra Levangeromerådet, men det er også bilder soldatene tok andre steder i Europa.

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"FORTIDENS FARGER"

3. juni 2009 åpner Levanger Museum fotoutstillingen "Fortidens farger", en utstilling av tidlig fargefotografi. Opphavsmennene er den norske fargefotopionéren Harald Renbjør fra Levanger, og den russiske fotografen Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky.

Teknikken bak disse bildene er såkalt trefargefotografi, en av de første anvendbare fargefototeknikkene, først beskrevet av fysikeren James Clerk Maxwell i 1861.

Harald Renbjør (1889 - 1956) ble tidlig interessert i fargefotografi, og prøvde nær sagt enhver fargefototeknikk så snart den ble tilgjengelig. Hans eldste kjente fargebilde er tatt i 1907, og viser en gutt på ski. Bildet er en papirkopi, og trykkplatene er intakte. Originalnegativene er til dette bildet er dessverre gått tapt, men Levanger Museum er så heldig å ha originalnegativer av andre motiver, og er således visstnok det eneste museum i verden som har hele arbeidsgangen, fra negativ til ferdig kopi, intakt. Det bør legges til at trefargefotografi var i sin tid den eneste fargefototeknikken som gjorde det mulig å lage kopier på papir, det var til og med mulig å forstørre eller forminske. Den vanligste fremvisningsmåten var likevel projeksjon ved hjelp av spesielle trefargeprojectorer. Å lage papirkopier var komplisert, og ikke minst arbeidskrevende.

Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky (1863 - 1944) var en av tsartidens Russlands store fotopionérer, og hadde nær kontakt med Europas ledende innen utviklingen av fotografi, bl. a. Tysklands Adolf Miethe, og Østerrikes Joseph Maria Eder, som også Harald Renbjør hadde kontakt med, og også studerte under en tid.

Prokudin-Gorsky fikk i oppdrag av tsaren å dokumentere kultur, folkeliv og landskap, og reiste rundt i Russland i flere år og fotograferte i farger i tiden før revolusjonen. På grunn av revolusjonen måtte han rømme landet, og havnet omsider i Frankrike, etter bl. a. et kortere opphold i Norge. Han fikk heldigvis med seg negativsamlingen. I 1948 overdro Prokudin-Gorskys arvinger denne til Library of Congress i Washington.

Takket være en gruppe ledet av Dr. Victor Minachin ved Restavrator-M i Moskva, ble det utarbeidet et dataprogram som gjorde det mulig å scanne de svart/hvite delnegativene og sette dem samen digitalt til et ferdig fargebilde.
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Moderne digitalteknikk har gjort det mulig å se disse fargebildene i sin fulle prakt. Mange av disse bildene har aldri vært sett i farger før, og vi kan ikke annet enn la oss imponere av de strålende fargen denne teknikken kunne oppvise.

Ingen av bildene har vært gjenstand for noen retusj, fargekorreksjon eller annen digital etterbehandling, de er derfor så nær fortidens farger det er mulig å komme i dag, og gir oss et helt nytt syn på en tid som, iallfall fra et fotografisk perspektiv, innyil nå har fortont seg ganske grå.
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"COLORS OF THE PAST"
On June 3rd 2009 Levanger Museum opens the exhibition "Colors of the Past", an exhibition of early color photography by the color photo pioneers Harald Renbjör of Norway and Sergej Prokudin-Gorsky of Russa. Most of the Norwegian pictures are taken during the years preceding WW1, all of the Russian pictures before the revolution. Both photographers had close relations to the leading European authorities on photography, such as Germany's Adolf Miethe and Austria's Joseph Maria Eder of Austria. The color technique used by both photographers is triple color photography, first described and demonstrated by the British physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1861, and the only color photography method capable of producing a print on paper at the time, although projection in special projectors was a more common way of showing the images. The Renbjör collection contains examples of the entire production process from negative to finished print, as presumably the only collection in the world. Prokudin-Gorsky's negatives have since 1948 been in Library of Congress in Washington. Thanks to a group headed by Dr. Viktor Minachin of Restavrator-M in Moscow, computer soft ware has been developed that makes it possible to scan a triple color b/w negative and get it in vivid colors directly on the screen. None of the images are retouched, enhanced or in any other way digitally "worked on". They are "as they come", and the colors are as close to the colors of the past as we can come today, giving us a radically new perspective on a time we usually think of as being in black and white, not to say grey!


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Lorentz Evart Larsson åpnet i 1910 fotostudio i Verdal.
Utstillingen viser et lite utvalg av flere tusen bilder fra Larsson den tiden han jobbet i bygda. Han var en anerkjent fotograf og tok portrettbilder med høy svært høy kvalitet.

Sammen med sin datter Olga Anderson fremskaffet svært gode og levende portrettbilder. Spesielt Larssons portretter er til dels utradisjonelle, og personene har ofte et
"eget glimt i øyet".









"I Møte mellom norsk og samisk kultur"
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Lars Larsen Ingulfsvand livnærte seg som fotograf i Lierne, Røyrvik, Namsskogan og Frostviken i Sverge mellom 1885 og 1913. Sammen med Portrettbilder fikk han tatt unike bilder i møtet mellom sørsame og bondekulturen.

Utstillingen gir et enestående blikk over utkant-Norge i møte mellom norsk og samisk kultur.