Egypt Caught in Time
by Colin OsmanImprint: Garnet Authors: Colin Osman ISBN: 9781873938959 Binding: Hardback Publication Date: 1997 RRP:
“This book, which at first glance might appear esoteric, will bring pleasure and knowledge to a wide range of readers...a treasure trove”Asahi Evening News
“. . . a well researched, historical survey of the documentation of Egypt – by Western and Middle Eastern photographers. It contains photographers’ biographies and some remarkable images from the dawn of tourism.”Creative Camera
“The illustrations actually show outstanding work by the printers . . . The overall design and combination of text and illustrations is of an equally high quality . . . obvious sources of fascination and enjoyment, but in a reference library context they are also invaluable sources of documentary images worth a place in any geographical or historical collection.”Reference Reviews
“essential historical background...these pictures are the only available visual record of a past that has vanished...when Cairo was the spiritual centre of the Islamic world.”Muslim World Book Review
“The rich and varied photographic archives of the author provide a record of people and monuments from the 1850s onwards. Clearly an expert in full command of his material, the author makes no compromises in the technical descriptions of the development in Egypt, but the information, mostly new to me, is presented in a manageable way.”, Egyptian Archaeology “Big glass negatives produce prints of fine detail and crisp definition, making this book’s illustrations visually delightful as well as egyptologically valuable . . . The book amply fulfils the author’s two declared intentions: to document neglected photographers and pictures and to set photography in a context of collectors, travellers and tourists to Egypt”, Papyrus Newsletter of S.E.S. “It is much more than a well-catalogued collection of historic images . . . it is an absorbing detective story too. Colin Osman has not only the true historian’s skill for unearthing buried print treasures, but for revealing what can be read into them. He is good at high-lighting the meaning of what might pan the untutored eye, but does it in a way which engages the interest rather than swamping it in a tide of tedious minutiae of detail . . .”The RPS Photographic Journal
"A crystal-clear window into that untainted world . . . This book’s illustrations [are] visually delightful as well as egyptologically valuable.”Sussex Egyptology Society
While Egypt is one of the most-photographed countries of the world, and many of its monuments are familiar sights, these photographs are evocative of life in the country before the rush of modernization swept away many traditions. Ancient temples and ruins long-since demolished for their stones, or lost under the waters of Lake Nasser, were saved for posterity in these pioneering photographs. Historical events such as the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the aftermath of the British bombardment of Alexandria in 1882 are included, as well as orientalist portraits of dancing girls and musicians.
The domes and minarets of the Cairo skyline present the image of a city not far from its Mamluke and Ottoman past. Even the pyramids are seen afresh when the figures before them are Arabs in traditional robes or European tourists in nineteenth-century dress. The daily life of Egypt is captured in pictures of officials, water-sellers, shopkeepers, town and country scenes, courtyard interiors and mosques.
Compiled from the private archive of the late Colin Osman, this book features pioneering photographic techniques including calotypes by Robert Murray dating back to 1852, and coloured photographs made using the PZ process. They make this a unique compilation of early images of Egypt, some not seen for 100 years and others never before published. This book will provide information and inspiration for visitors to Egypt, historians and travel enthusiasts.