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Milena Secká

Abstract

Collections of the National Museum – Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures include a set of 355 educational images printed on cloth and hand-coloured. They were published by the Working Men’s Educational Union based in London to accompany public lectures for British workers, and purchased by Vojta Náprstek in 1862 during his visit to the World Exposition in London for an industrial museum he had planned. Topics of the prints come from natural sciences (astronomy, anatomy, fauna, flora, physics, geology) as well as humanities (archaeology, ethnology, history, theology). A collection of this size has not been preserved anywhere else in the Czech lands.

Open access

Milena Secká and Blanka Hnulíková

Abstract

The article introduces a collection of thirty three images, predominantly daguerreotypes, deposited in the collection department of the Náprstek Museum. They were made during the period from the end of the 1840s to the 1860s, partly in Europe and partly in the United States of America, as the private collection of Vojta Náprstek and his family. The earliest one originates probably from 1848 and displays Vojta Náprstek wearing a redingote of the revolutionary Student Legion. With two exceptions, the portraits present the family and friends of the collection owner. What makes the collection very interesting and frequently used by experts and the media is the fact that it includes, among other things, two portraits of Božena Němcová.

The first part of the article deals with the history of the collection and the persons portrayed. The second, technical part presents the history of the origin and development of the photographic techniques employed and the identification and specification of the degradation effects.