• Dawn of the Flick: The Doctors, Physicists, and Mathematicians Who Made the Movies Early optical toys from the 19th century are expressions of our almost primal urge to animate the inanimate. Or so believes Richard Balzer, one of the foremost collectors of optical toys, magic lanterns, camera obscuras, and other objects that play tricks on the eye. For Balzer, these early optical toys, as well as our continued fascination with flipbooks, are part of a continuum that has culminat…
  • Rob Niederman Focuses on Antique Wood Cameras How did I start collecting cameras? Actually, I had an interest in photography as a kid and owned a darkroom by the age of 12 or 13. My interest in photography grew. I spent lots of time in a Chicago gallery learning about black and white photographs by the old masters and was very fortunate to study with Ansel Adams in one of his workshops in the mid 1970s. My first exposure into antique cameras …
  • 19th-Century Photographs, from Daguerreotypes to Cartes de Visites I’ve always been interested in antiques. As a kid, I collected a variety of stuff – fossils, rocks, minerals, natural history stuff, Indian artifacts and antiques. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and my mother had a lot of Victorian antiques. We lived in an old Victorian neighborhood, one of Louisville’s old traditional neighborhoods. In the 1910s and ’20s it had been very vibrant, but started …
  • From Ambrotypes to Stereoviews, 150 Years of Photographs We both come from families that had collections and we both had collections as children. Jack lost his when his grandmother threw them out at one point. His grandmother collected china and glass. My parents had collections. When we married, we had both studied photography. In Chicago, we hardly ever saw any photographs. We went to antique shops and we prowled around in flea markets and the malls, …
  • Daile Kaplan of Swann Auction Galleries on Collecting 20th Century Photographs Swann, which is New York City’s oldest specialty auction house, was founded in the late 1940s as an antiquarian book house. In the mid-1970s, as popular interest in photography became more widespread, the specialist at that time realized that Swann should have sales that featured documentary and fine art photography as well as albums and photobooks. Until that time, auctions dedicated to photograp…