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An Orientalist in Nineteenth Century Cairo A collection on loan from AUC Trustee Philip Maritz.


On February 14, 2018, The Photographic Gallery at The American University in Cairo in cooperation with The Rare Books and Special Collections Library is hosting a photographic exhibition entitled “Emile Béchard: An Orientalist in Nineteenth Century Cairo.” This collection is on loan from AUC Trustee Philip Maritz. The exhibit of 53 nineteenth century sepia photos is a selection from French photographer Emile Bechard’s Orientalist studies. It includes daily life scenes of street life, domestic life, market activities, Sufi dervishes, women and an assortment of portraits of Sheikh al-Sadat, an important social figure of his time. The opening reception will be on Wednesday February 14, 2018, at 1:00 pm




Emile Béchard (1844 -?) was a photographer based in Cairo between 1869-1870s. During that stay he was the official photographer of the Egyptian Museum in partnership with another prominent French photographer, Hippolyte Délié with whom he also operated a photographic studio, mostly kiosk, at the Azbakiya gardens. Together the two photographers Béchard and Delié published an album of the Bulaq Museum. Upon his return to France, he participated in the Exposition Universelle de Paris of 1878 where he obtained a gold medal (Médaille d’Or). Other than his albums commissioned by Khedive Ismail, gravures of his travel photographs were published by Palmière in 1888 under the title: L’Egypte et la Nubie. (available on display at the RBSCL)




The Photographic Gallery is located on the New Campus of the American University in Cairo (New Cairo, Abdul Latif Jameel Hall, Plaza Level.) Gallery hours are Sunday through Thursday, 10 am to 5 pm.