The Bonfils Collection [c 1867-c 1914]

Description: The Fouad Debbas Collection is the private collection of one man, Fouad Debbas, who studied engineering and got passionate about gathering images of his past and his region. Debbas (Lebanese) spent 26 years (from 1975 until his sudden death in 2001) collecting all images that concerned the Middle-East, with a special interest for Lebanon. He masterminded his collection, classifying his images by photographs / editors / subjects and produced two important books on postcards representing Beirut and on photography in Lebanon during 1848-1914. His collection is a reference for art historians, historians, urbanists and for all Lebanese eager to understand better its heritage. Photographs produced by Maison Bonfils during its establishment in Beirut in 1867 up to the first decade of the 20th century. Landscapes, Portraits of Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, and few images of Turkey, Smyrna or Greece. Photographs on glass (glass plates positives and negatives), loose albumin prints conserved in portfolio, photographic albums, cartes de visite and cabinet cards, stereoscopic views. Images depicting the Middle East of the late 19th century, with an 'orientalist' perspective, sometimes a romantic approach, produced for the European market. Extent and format of original material: SERIES = 138 items from uncomplete series of Bonfils stereoscopic views and lantern magic slides; 3 printed cataloguesFILES = 36 photographic albums; 1956 photographs, 27 portfolios; 747 ITEMS = 3 cabinet cards, 49 cartes de visite, 1 Wet collodion glass plate negative.