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Weltausstellung in Wien 1873, 1873

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Weltausstellung in Wien 1873

Biographical/Historical Note

The photographs in the collection are by György Klösz, Oscar Kramer, and Josef Löwy. These men were three of the six members of the Viennese Photographers Association which held the photographic concession for the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition.

György Klösz (Johann Georg Justus Kloess, 1844-1913) was born in Darmstadt, Germany. After studying pharmacy, chemistry, and photography he moved to Vienna and worked in the photography studio of Hermann Heid. He took over the Budapest operations of Heid and his partner, Ferdinand Ronninger, in 1867. In the 1870s, he was one of the first Hungarian photographers to take photographs of the city of Budapest and other outdoor locations. While he continued to be a prolific photographer, Klösz also branched out to other businesses. In 1879, he set up a lithographic printing press and started to produce reproductions. Between 1890 and 1894, he was co-owner of Budapest Visitors' Magazine. Klösz taught his son Pal photography and in 1903 made him co-owner of his business.

Josef Löwy (1834 Pressburg (Bratislava), Slovakia-1902 Vienna, Austria) was a painter, publisher, and photographer. In 1848, Löwy moved to Vienna, where he first learned lithography and then studied painting at the Vienna Academy. He opened his first photography studio in Vienna in 1856, specializing in portraits, nudes, and landscapes. In 1861, he joined the Viennese Photographischen Gesellschaft, and in 1864 he participated in Vienna's first photographic exhibition. Löwy was one of the early users of the collodion process in Vienna, and in 1885, he founded an unsuccessful dry plate production business with Josef Plener. After his death Löwy's company was continued by his widow, Mathilde Löwy, until her death in 1908, at which time their nephew, Gustav Löwy, took it over, operating it under the name Kunstanstalt J. Löwy.

Oscar Kramer (1834-1892, Vienna) was a photographer; a dealer in photographic supplies, photographs, and art; and a publisher of photographs. He lived and studied in Berlin as a child, but returned to Vienna in the mid-1850s where he opened a photographic supply business in 1856. Kramer became a member of the Vienna Photographische Gesellschaft in 1861, and along with Ludwig Schrank, founded Photographische Correspondenz magazine in 1864, which in short order became the mouthpiece for the Photographische Gesellschaft. In 1873, Kramer became the co-founder and commercial director of the Vienna Photographers Association. The organization was responsible for taking over 2,200 photographs of the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition, but was dissolved the following year due to financial difficulties.

Sources consulted:

Durstmüller. "Löwy Josef, Photograf," in: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950, vol. 5. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1972.

Hannavy, John. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. New York, London: Routledge, 2013.

Mahler Foundation. "Josef Lowy (1834-1902)."

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