Still Prints of Asia

Detail of a pattern

At A Glance

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  • Dates

  • Physical Description

    31 Prints (albumen and carbon)
  • Collection ID


  • Scope and Contents

    The collection is made up of 30 albumen photographic prints and one carbon print. The dates range from 1858 to approximately 1903, with the bulk of photographs taken between 1860-1880. The photographs are from several photographers, including Samuel Bourne, Felice Beato, Abdullah Freres, A.T.W. Penn, Ganaptrao Abajee Kale, and Francis Frith. Twenty-six of the photographs are of locations around India, one was taken in Japan, and four are portraits of women in unidentified locations. The portraits are instead identified by ethnicity: one of a Chinese woman, one of a Persian-Armenian woman, and two of Turkish women. The two Turkish women are wearing the same outfit.

    A1999.1_23: "Darjeeling Tea Factory and Darjeeling Frost" shows a commercializing tea industry at the hands of a British foreman. The grisly A1999.1_27: "Inside the Secunderabagh, Lucknow" shows the outcome of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. A1999.1_30: "His Highness Maharao Raja Sir Raghubir Singhjt Sahib Bahadur" is a stately portrait of one of the last Rajput royals in Bundi. A1999.1_18 and A1999.1_20 show the view of Lake Nainital and the town of Nainital, which was built as a summer residence for British officials. Most directly, A1999.1_4: "The Delhi Durbar" shows the second British rulers of India, Edward VII and his wife Alexandra, gathering in Delhi in 1903.
  • Biographical / Historical

    The focus on India in this collection, the identity of the photographers, and the locations chosen to photograph shine a light on India during British occupation. The architecture of royally-funded 16th century Mughal structures builds a base against which the architecture (and ruins) of a contemporary 19th century town can be compared. Some speak more directly to the occupation than others.
  • Place

  • Topic

    Photography -- China
    Photography -- Japan
    Architecture -- India
    Portraits -- Women
  • See more items in

    Still Prints of Asia
  • Container

    Box 1
    Box 2
  • Custodial History

    Purchase, 1998-1999.
  • Archival Repository

    Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
  • Type

    Collection descriptions
    Archival materials
    Albumen prints
  • Citation

    Still Prints of Asia, FSA.A1999.01. National Museum of Asian Art Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • Arrangement

    Arranged by item number.
  • Rights

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
  • Genre/Form

    Albumen prints
  • Restrictions

    Collection is open for research.

Repository Contact

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
National Museum of Asian Art Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013