A Nostalgic Longing for the 20th Century

Past and Present Backdrops and Scenes in the Skylight Studio of Josip Pelikan

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47659/m5.056.art

Taking a visual stroll down the backdrops and sceneries of the master photographer Josip Pelikan is accompanied by commentary supplied by the Celje Museum of Recent History’s senior educator and carer of Pelikan’s collection, Helena Vogelsang. Painted backgrounds with various motifs used by Pelikan in both portraying and in his everyday work in the studio represent a key part of the photographer’s heritage and are part of a permanent exhibition in a skylight studio. It is the only preserved example of a skylight photo studio from the end of the 19th century in Slovenia. Various backdrops enabled the portrayed person to be presented in a way that suited him or her best; e.g. raising their social status, being placed in a specific environment or in a different position than the person occupied in real life. This surely influenced the popularity of portraits made in the wet collodion technique by contemporary photographer Borut Peterlin. In this way, the photographer revitalised the importance of Pelikan’s backgrounds and renewed the interest in old analogue photography techniques as well as a comprehensive studio portrait experience, which today no longer holds a prominent place among photographic practices.

Taking a visual stroll down the backdrops and sceneries of the master photographer Josip Pelikan is accompanied by commentary supplied by the Celje Museum of Recent History’s senior educator and carer of Pelikan’s collection, Helena Vogelsang. Painted backgrounds with various motifs used by Pelikan in both portraying and in his everyday work in the studio represent a key part of the photographer’s heritage and are part of a permanent exhibition in a skylight studio. It is the only preserved example of a skylight photo studio from the end of the 19th century in Slovenia. Various backdrops enabled the portrayed person to be presented in a way that suited him or her best; e.g. raising their social status, being placed in a specific environment or in a different position than the person occupied in real life. This surely influenced the popularity of portraits made in the wet collodion technique by contemporary photographer Borut Peterlin. In this way, the photographer revitalised the importance of Pelikan’s backgrounds and renewed the interest in old analogue photography techniques as well as a comprehensive studio portrait experience, which today no longer holds a prominent place among photographic practices.

Taking a visual stroll down the backdrops and sceneries of the master photographer Josip Pelikan is accompanied by commentary supplied by the Celje Museum of Recent History’s senior educator and carer of Pelikan’s collection, Helena Vogelsang. Painted backgrounds with various motifs used by Pelikan in both portraying and in his everyday work in the studio represent a key part of the photographer’s heritage and are part of a permanent exhibition in a skylight studio. It is the only preserved example of a skylight photo studio from the end of the 19th century in Slovenia. Various backdrops enabled the portrayed person to be presented in a way that suited him or her best; e.g. raising their social status, being placed in a specific environment or in a different position than the person occupied in real life. This surely influenced the popularity of portraits made in the wet collodion technique by contemporary photographer Borut Peterlin. In this way, the photographer revitalised the importance of Pelikan’s backgrounds and renewed the interest in old analogue photography techniques as well as a comprehensive studio portrait experience, which today no longer holds a prominent place among photographic practices.

You must be a subscriber to view the main content of this page. Please subscribe to an option that fits your needs and get access to core content! If you are already a subscriber just sign in below. If you have purchased a subscription via Offline payment, the content will be unlocked upon receiving your payment.

Among the Josip Pelikan's rich preserved legacy, the skylight studio presents us with painted backdrops with various portraiture motifs.
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Similar subject

In Myanmar, which was a completely closed country, they projected photographs of New York or Singapore or Japan onto backdrops and then people would pose like your regular 1990s young kid with a skateboard and a Sony Walkman which were both inaccessible in Myanmar.
Photo Studio is as much a story about photography in the age of selfies as it is about contemporary life and attachments.
Studios seem to be transformative places where people could act out new forms of identity in advance of society.
Love Studio depicts the portraits of a working-class community where an old studio in Dhaka transforms into a neighborhood venue to represent the dreams, hopes and desires of the factory workers, their families and unemployed neighbors.
The studio portrait is no longer limited by the physical space of the studio. The digital infrastructure enables the likeness to be completed and given meaning in the computer.
In this project, BIND collaborates with photo.circle to explore the relationship between memories of the locals and the city of Kathmandu.
Originally, I was driven by the idea to take pictures of individuals who don't even have any understanding of being depicted.
Lee addresses the archiving of history in museums as a practice that establishes itself as more important than the actual preservation of certain areas, people and ways of life in the present moment.

Our site uses cookies to improve our services. As an user you need to agree to the usage and accept our conditions. We are currently using only necessary cookies for normal web page functioning. For more information visit our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. For more information on the cookies that we use please check the list below.  

Cookies that we use

PHPSESSID
This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users’ unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.

I consent to the cookie usage, agree with the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and want to continue using the web-page. 

sign up

and get the latest news and calls for papers & projects