[Egyptian views brought home by John Muir] [graphic], [1904?]
Processed by Jane Carpenter with assistance from Simon Elliott; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: [Egyptian views brought home by John Muir] [graphic]
Date (inclusive): [1904?]
Collection number: 94/228
Muir, John, 1838-1914.
1 album (103 photographic prints) : albumen ; 29 x 38 cm (album)
Title from inscription on card laid in, possibly in the hand of a former owner or dealer.
Photographs (21 x 28 cm) are mounted one to a page on leaves of black paper; Sébah's photos are carefully signed; Beato's
signature appears on some of his photos, and in some cases, that signature is printed in reverse; identifying captions in
pencil visible on versos of some photographs; most have brief captions pencilled below on page.
Bound in plain brown cloth boards; manufacturer's label on front pastedown of the Heinn Specialty Co. of Milwaukee, Wis.,
with stock number [?] "410" stamped in red.
Language: Finding aid is written in
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Isabel Gaines of Chatsworth, California, August 1983.
[Identification of item], [Egyptian views brought home by John Muir] [graphic] (Collection 94/228). UCLA Library Special Collections,
Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.
UCLA Catalog Record ID
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Ramesseum (Thebes, Egypt)--Photographs.
Great Temple (Abū Sunbul, Egypt)--Photographs.
Great Sphinx (Egypt)--Photographs.
Pyramids of Giza (Egypt)--Photographs.
Bisharin (African people)--Photographs.
Deir el-Medina Site (Egypt)--Photographs.
Genres and Forms of Material
Album probably compiled by John Muir in 1904 of 102 large albumen photographs of Egypt, taken by J.P. Sébah and Antonio Beato,
Scope and Content Note
As part of the world tour he made in 1903-1904, John Muir, naturalist and champion of preserving the wilderness, traveled
to Egypt where he visited Cairo, saw the pyramids and Sphinx in Giza, and took a steamer up the Nile to visit the great antiquities
sites, including Thebes, Luxor, Karnak, and Abu Simbel. He no doubt acquired the photographs while in Egypt, and assembled
them in the album when he returned home in 1904. It would appear that eighty of the photographs are the work of Antonio Beato
(both signed and unsigned), and depict the antiquities of Egypt, including the pyramids at Saggarah, Dendara, and Giza, the
Sphinx, the Ramesseum or mortuary temple of Pharaoh Ramesses II, the great Abu Simbel temples in Nubia, in southern Egypt,
the temples in Edfu, the temple of Isis in Philae, the village of Deir el-Medina, home of the artisans who worked on the tombs
in the Valley of the Kings, located across the Nile River from Luxor; and the antiquities in Thebes, Luxor, and Karnak. Beato
seemed especially interested in recording close-up views of the statues and carvings and glyphs found on temples, tombs, walls,
and columns at these sites. A lone human figure often appears in his architectural photographs, perhaps to remind the viewer
that these monumental memorials were produced by the sweat and labor of common people, and to provide a sense of the monumental
scale of these antiquities. Beato also took photographs of scenes of local life along the Nile, and groups of villagers with
their donkeys and camels, engaged in their daily work, such as two farmers using a "shaduf" to draw water from the Nile for
irrigation, a water seller, two women in black robes carrying large water jugs on their heads, a father and son with water
buffalo, Hadji Ahmet Dragoman astride his camel, and a group of Bisharin ("Bichereens") in front of a cluster of date palms.
There is also a view of a large felucca loaded with passengers sailing down the Nile. Several of the 21 photographs by SSupplementary
encoding and revision by Sébah are portraits of the local people in native dress, such as a typical "fellah" or farmer in
turban and tunic, and a peasant woman, "fellahine" in a black veil , wearing a beaded necklace, and holding her child. He
also photographed statues of Isis and the pharaohs in their vitrines in the Giza museum, and the mummified heads of Rameses
II and Seti I. In his photos of the Sphinx and the pyramids, tourists stand atop the great head, and throngs of visitors scramble
to climb the sides of the pyramids to the top. Muir's album includes two unmounted photographs laid in, each in a mylar sleeve:
one is an albumen print by Beato, probably from the same period,1886-1900, of the Colossi of Memnon, two huge statues which
stand across the Nile from Luxor; the other is a platinotype (29 x 21 cm) of a baobab tree (girth 87 feet) near Victoria Falls,
Rhodesia, Africa by L. Pedrotti who had a studio in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), probably from around 1900; verso contains
Pedrotti's green copyright stamp--"Guaranteed Platinotype"--and pencilled note "Ex libris John Muir."
Late 19th- and early 20th-century Turkish photographer who satisfied popular demand by travelers and tourists for iconic images
of the "Orient" with his sumptuous photographs of antiquities and local people of Turkey and Egypt. Jean Pascal Sébah was
trained in photography as a young boy of sixteen by his brother Cosimi, following the death of their Syrian-born father, Pascal
Sébah in 1886. Jean took over the studio in 1888, and entered into partnership with a Frenchman, Polycarpe Joaillier; the
studio became known as Sébah & Joaillier. Based in Constantinople, they were the official photographers of the Sultan. According
to the Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography, edited by John Hannavy, Sébah and Joaillier came to be the chief "suppliers
of evocative imagery to the increasing number of people who undertook the Victorian Grand Tour" (see v. I, p. 1730-1734).
Sébah & Joaillier continued in business until 1910 when Joaillier returned to France. Antonio Beato was a British/Italian
photographer, famous for his architectural photographs of Egypt. Often known by the French form of his name, Antoine Beato,
he worked with his brother, Felice, also a photographer, in Malta, Greece, India and the Holy Land. In 1860 he moved to Cairo,
where he lived for two years before finally settling in Luxor. There he established a studio, and spent the remaining years
of his life photographing the antiquities, architecture, landscapes, and people of Egypt. His photographs are an extremely
valuable record of monuments that have since been defaced or destroyed.
Spec. Coll. copy: one folded mimeographed sheet, laid in, containing one issue of the weekly newsletter for employees of the
Fluor Corporation, dated Feb. 3, 1955 in Saudia Arabia. Fluor is an engineering and construction company, formerly based in
Irvine, California (now in Irving, Texas), which, in 1955, was contracted by the U.S. Air Force to build Saudia Arabia's Dhahran
Air Base. In modern beige cloth clamshell box with title "Sebah and Beato. Egypt."