Langhans Archive

Searching the online archive

Gallery of Eminent People

The Gallery of Eminent People comprised a selection of portraits of thousands of people which were made at Langhans Studio at some point in its long existence. They were some of the most important figures in public life in the country between 1890 and 1948.

The Gallery of Eminent People

The Gallery of Eminent People includes photos of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, President of Czechoslovakia, Antonín Dvořák, composer, Emmy Destinn, diva, Paul Claudel, poet and diplomat, members of the Lobkowicz and the Schwarzenberg families, Charles I, last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Natalia, Princess of Montenegro, and Jan Kubelík, violin virtuoso.

Part of the collection was saved from becoming a victim of the nationalization of Ateliér Langhans in 1948. The discoveries of more than 9,000 glass negatives on the original site of the studio in 1998 and 2000 were exciting events.

To care for these glass negatives with portraits of members of an erstwhile élite, the Langhans Prague Foundation , was established. It sees to the restoration of the negatives and their public presentation.

Important

The online archive makes it possible for anyone with internet access to look at the discovered photos. Since all the information, including the names under which the photographs are presented and descriptions (where they are given), may still contain mistakes, we kindly asks visitors to the online archive to send their comments, observations, additional information, and possible corrections to us at the following address: archiv@langhans.cz.

The photo previews in the online archive are in low resolution. Some are mirror images, which is evident, for example, from uniforms and medals. Some are only reproductions of photographs.

If you are interested in using the images in a higher resolution (for publications, news, exhibitions, and so on), please contact us at archiv@langhans.cz.

Searching the online archive

The small part of the Langhans portrait archive, the Gallery of Eminent People, which escaped destruction, is presented in the ONLINE ARCHIVE. It comprises scans of more than 12,000 glass negatives, which were discovered in 1998 and 2000, during the renovation and remodelling of Langhans House, Prague.

The online archive can be accessed in two ways:

  • by category
  • by name, arranged alphabetically

The idea of ‘category’ comes from the numbering on the discovered original boxes – roman numerals from I to X.

I. Actors, singers
II. Politicians
III. Writers
IV. Musicians
V. Legionnaires, soldiers, generals
VI. Artists, architects
VII. Judges, civil servants, businessmen
VIII. Foreigners
IX. Clergy
X. Scholars and scientists

One third of the boxes were without numbers. During the conservation work since 2000, the photographs from this part of the archive were placed into two new categories, XI and XIII.

XI. Members of the nobility, traditional costumes, cities, politicians, Sokol members, artists, academics, and industrialists
XII. A selection by Ivan Lutterer
XIII. Various

Category XII was made by the photographer and restorer Ivan Lutterer (1954–2001) for the Ateliér Langhans exhibition at the Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, in 2000. Lutterer was the first specialist to work with the discovered part of the Gallery of Eminent People archive. His sudden premature death cut short his work on the archive almost as soon as it had begun. Because of his skills as a photographer and his considerable knowledge of history, Lutterer’s contribution to the Langhans Archive, Prague, was crucial.

The name index lists the sitters in alphabetical order. The headings, given in capital letters, refer to the names of towns, embassies, and universities.