MoAD | Press Room: Desert Jewels – Exhibition Description

The Photographers

J. Garrigues
While many of his images survive, especially those from Tunis, Tunisia, little is known of Garrigues. He appears to have been active in the 1880s.

Étienne and Louis-Antonin Neurdein
In 1863, the Neurdein brothers founded a studio, Maison Neurdein, in Paris. Their establishment was known for portraits of famous people as well as for travel images from France, Belgium, Algeria and Canada.

George Washington Wilson
A pioneering Scottish photographer, Wilson (1823–1893) traveled throughout Scotland, Gibraltar, Morocco, South Africa and Australia. He developed a successful business as a photographic publisher, distributing cartes de visite, postcards and stereographs for the tourist industry.

Felix Bonfils
Born in France, Felix Bonfils established a photography studio in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1867. His son Adrien and wife Lydie also became photographers. The Bonfils family produced thousands of photographs and sold them through their businesses in Beirut, Cairo, Alexandria, London, Paris and Alès, their hometown in France.

Rodolphe Neuer
In the early 20th century Rodolphe Neuer published images depicting ethnic nudes and scenes from daily life in North Africa.

A. Cavilla
A. Cavilla was a Spanish photographer, who is known to have had a studio in Tangier in the 1880s.

Pascal Sebah
Of Syrian origin, Pascal Sebah (1823–1886) opened a studio in Constantinople in 1857. He established a branch studio in Cairo in 1873 near the celebrated Shepherd’s Hotel. In 1878 Pascal Sebah won a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle for his photographs of Nubian desert tribes. He suffered a stroke in 1883, and his brother took charge of the studio until his son Jean (1872–1947) was old enough to inherit the business.

J. Pascal Sebah
In 1888, after inheriting his father’s business, Jean (who signed images with the name J. Pascal Sebah) went into partnership with Polycarpe Joaillier, a French photographer in Istanbul. The firm of Sebah and Joaillier became the official photographer of the sultan, and worked throughout the Ottoman Empire.