Thanks to the fascinating Vasatransmedia blog for this tour of the The Jozef Maximilián Petzval Museum of the History of Photography and Cinematography, part of the Slovak Technical Museum…
One thing I love about traveling is stumbling upon unique and interesting places where you least expect them. Our Slovakian guide Dusan mentioned to my traveling partner Roberto and I that he knew of a little photography museum in a nearby village in Slovakia. We said we were interested in seeing it so off we went. The museum is centered around the personalities and early technological innovations that contributed to the invention of photography. Two of those early innovators being Jozef Maximilian Petzval and Otto Petzval who invented the optics (lenses) that made it possible for the development of photography. Petzval is considered to be one of the main founders of geometrical optics, modern photography and cinematography. According to Wikipedia, “among his inventions are the Petzval portrait lens and opera glasses, both still in common use today.” The museum has a vast collection of old cameras and photographic equipment going all the way back to the camera obscura and excellent and informative displays tracing the earliest beginnings of photography starting with the camera obscura to the first photographs and development / evolution of photographic optics. There are historical displays about Joseph Niepce who made the first photographic image with camera obscura, the image required eight hours of light exposure and later faded. and Louis Daguerre’s first daguerreotype – the first image that was fixed and did not fade and needed under thirty minutes of light exposure. Since I teach the history of photography I found the museum and displays particularly informative and enlightening. The entire museum is essentially a detailed time line of the life and work of the Petzval brothers and then goes on and tracks the technological evolution of analog photography all the way to the innovation of digital photography.
The staff were incredibly friendly and were willing to give us detailed background information about the museum. All in all our visit to the Slovak Technical Museum was a highlight of our day. Museum Staff Levika Timockoua and Amalle Lacusoua
Petzval is quoted as saying…“I have overpowered the light, I have it in my bag, but there is still a lot of darkness in the world.”
Location: Slovak Technical Museum, Hlavná 88, 040 01Košice, Slovak Republic
Entry Fee: 1,50 €