Down the Nile
Egyptian antiquities grew especially popular in the 19th century Europe, following Napoleonic conquests of Egypt, the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs by Jean-Francois Champollion, and the building of the Suez Canal in 1869. France, in particular, was flooded with professional photographs of Egypt by such masters as Zangaki Brothers, whose Cairo shop you can see on the next image.
The photos in this collection, however, were taken by an amateur photographer whose family, the Morozovs, toured Egypt in early 1900s. The Morozovs were very interested in new technology. On this trip, they used a new hi-tech gadget—a Kodak panoramic camera—which produced beautiful wide angle views.
The photos in this exhibition capture the Morozovs' trip from Alexandria to Cairo and down the Nile with stops at the popular tourist attractions. Once the traveler returned home, these photos made an exotic brag album or a unique gift.
Port of Alexandria, Egypt
Many journeys to Egypt started at the port of Alexandria. The two photos above offer beautiful panoramic views of the port. E.M.S.S.C. (top photo, right) stands for Egyptian Mail Steamship Company, a British express postal mail service between Marseilles, France, and Alexandria, Egypt. The company stopped operations in 1909 for lack of clientele, and both of its ships, Cairo and Heliopolis, were decommissioned. In the background on the left, behind the tall ships, is a royal palace, Ras-el-Tin Palace.
Ghezireh Palace Hotel. Cairo, Egypt
From Alexandria, the visitor would travel to Cairo, where he could check into a luxury hotel, such as Ghezire Palace (above), which was commissioned to host guests arriving for the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, or the Shepheard's Hotel (below).
Gardens of the Shepheard's Hotel, Cairo. Egypt. The hotel and its gardens were destroyed by fire in 1952.
Sharia Kamel, Cairo, Egypt.
Sharia Kamel was a central shopping area with many offices and shops catering for the tourists. Notable places in this photo include: Blanchard Antiques, G.G. Zacharia & Co. booksellers, Minerva Hotel, and Zangaki Brothers Photoshop. Early 20th c.
Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan in scaffolds during repair. Cairo, Egypt. Early 20th c.
Abu Sir (also Abusir). Pyramids of the 5th-dynasty (c. 2465–c. 2325 BCE) kings Sahure, Neuserre, and Neferirkare at Abu Sir, northern Egypt. Possibly the first stop on the journey down the Nile.
Abur Sir (also Abusir). Pyramids of Sahure, Neuserre, and Neferirkare, northern Egypt, with Giza pyramids in the distance to the left. Viewing from Saqquara.
Step Pyramid of Djoser, Saqqarah, Egypt. Eary 20th c.
Photo awaiting attribution
Temple of Ramesses III in Medinet Habu. Statues of Ramesses & Maat or (Thoth) and columns in Hypostyle Hall. Egypt
Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt
Photo awaiting attribution. Possibly, a cruise ship taking tourists down the Nile to the Kom Ombo Temple.
Kom Ombo Temple, Upper Egypt. Approaching the temple in a cruise boat.
Outside of the Kom Ombo Temple, Upper Egypt
Inside the Kom Ombo Temple, Upper Egypt
Qubbet el-Hawa dune on the left bank of the Nile and the city of Aswan on the right. Egypt (two photos above)
Temple of Philae, Egypt. 1907-1912 (?). In the foreground are oars of a tourist boat rowed by the locals--the only way to get to the temple when flooded by the Nile
Construction of the Aswan Dam(?)
Photo awaiting attribution.
Left: Gardens of the Shepheard's Hotel, Cairo. Egypt. The hotel was destroyed by fire in 1952.
Middle: Temple of Isis, Second Pylon, western facade during flooding from Aswan Low Dam. Philae, Egypt. 1907-1912 (?)
Right: The great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha (Alabaster Mosque). Cairo, Egypt. 1907-1912 (?).
Source: film (96 mm x 310 mm),