No title. From the series Gymnastics

Carl Jacob Malmberg, No title. From the series Gymnastics, ca 1875

Written in Light

The First Photographers

8.4 2017 – 3.9 2017


The exhibition Written in Light – The First Photographers explores Moderna Museet’s collection of photography from the second half of the 19th century. It includes the Museum’s unique collection of daguerreotypes and works by a few of the world’s most famous photographers: Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Gustave Rejlander, and Carleton E. Watkins.

Since its invention, photography has developed, changed, and been used for many different aims and purposes. With the breakthrough of digital images, and their omnipresence in social media, photography is once again in a period of change. This gives all the more reason to look back and consider the impact of its legacy on contemporary photography. This exhibition highlights the Museum’s collection of daguerreotypes, but also gives examples of other early photographic techniques.

Thanks to two significant acquisitions in the mid-1960s, the Helmut Gernsheim Duplicate Collection, and the Helmer Bäckström Photographic Collection, some of the most internationally famous photographers in history are represented at Moderna Museet, including Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Gustave Rejlander, and Carleton E. Watkins.

Photography means “written in light”. The eponymous exhibition is an adaptation of a chapter in the project Another Story, which filled the entire collection exhibition with photography and photo-based art at Moderna Museet in 2011.

Curator: Anna Tellgren

The exhibition is on the 2nd floor

Map of Moderna Museet


Down the Valley, Yosemite
Carleton E Watkins, Down the Valley, Yosemite, 1861
Maria Catharina Malmberg with Children
Carl Jacob Malmberg, Maria Catharina Malmberg with Children, ca 1860
The Mother of Salome
Julia Margaret Cameron, The Mother of Salome, 1870 Albumen Silver Print
No title
Oscar Gustave Rejlander, No title, ca 1860

More about this exhibition