Portable altar (Portatile), first half of 12th
century, and two reliquary caskets, 14th and 16th (?) centuries,
Fritzlar, Basilica of St. Peter, treasury and museum.
Photograph: Ludwig Bickell, 1882, glass plate negative, wet-plate
collodion process, 16 x 21 cm. Bildarchiv Foto Marburg / on permanent
loan from the Marburg Historical Society (Photo No. 810.878).
Ludwig Bickell's photographs in the "Register of Cultural
Objects of National Importance"
Marburg native Ludwig Bickell (1838-1901) counts as one of the
pioneers of photography and cultural heritage preservation in Hesse. He
laid the foundation for today's Marburg University Museum with his
collection of "Hessian antiquities". In 1892 he was voted in as First
Conservator of the Administrative District of Kassel by the Prussian
"District Commission for Research and Protection of Monuments".
As early as 1870, Bickell traveled with his own plate camera
primarily through Hesse in order to make a photographic documentation
of historic buildings and structures in cities and in the countryside.
He took around 3,000 pictures in the course of his life in the form of
large-scale glass plate negatives. Most of these show individual
structures and ensembles, of which many have now been destroyed or
altered. Bickell also caught collectibles on film, such as the portable
altar shown here and the two reliquary caskets from the treasury of the
basilica in Fritzlar, to demonstrate the high level of Hessian arts and
crafts in the Middle Ages.
In the spring of 2014, Bickell's photographic works will be entered
into the "Register of Cultural Objects of National Importance" valid
for Hesse according to the Cultural Assets Protection Act of the
Federal Republic of Germany.
His photographic legacy is now kept in the Bildarchiv Foto Marburg
on permanent loan from the Marburg Historical Society (Marburger
Geschichtsverein e.V.). All glass plate negatives have been examined in
regard to technical restoration, high-def digitized and documented
under the aspect of photographic history within the scope of the
ongoing DFG project "Photographic Negatives".
From now until March 16, 2014, a cabinet exhibition in Marburg
Castle, where the University Museum was founded, will be presenting a
selection of Bickell's masterful photographs in high-quality prints,
supplemented by his publications and documents from the time the
photographs were made.
Gallery of Special Images