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Documentary Genealogies: Photography at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia [Madrid]

Documentary Genealogies: Photography 1848–1917 

16 November 2022 – 27 February 2023

This exhibition explores the use of photographic practices related to the appearance and evolution of representations of the working classes between the European revolutionary cycle of 1848 and the Russian Revolution in 1917.

It investigates the parallel emergence of photography and of socialism, as well offering an alternative narrative of the rise and evolution of documentary discourse in the history of photography. William Edward Kilburn (1818–91), a British photographer regularly commissioned by the British Royal Family, recorded the Chartist Meeting on Kennington Common in 1848 through two successful daguerreotypes subsequently acquired by Prince Albert, reflecting his early belief in the potency of photography as a historical record as well as his genuine concern for social welfare. One of such daguerreotypes will be shown alongside daguerreotypes recording riots in Paris, also occurring in 1848, representing some of the earliest photographs of a crowd and linking the use of early photography to capture political revolts and demonstrations across Europe during those turbulent times.

Rooms and locations with objects on display