LATERNA MAGICA PRESERVES AND
EXPLORES THE HISTORY OF VISUAL MEDIA
CAMERA HISTORY AND INHERITANCE MISSION
With its own vintage camera collection, Laterna Magica Museum for Visual Knowledge preserves and showcases a collection of one-of-a-kind items, some of which are only now made public in Denmark, like the magic lantern collection, the espionage collection, the animal skin camera collection, and the subminiature collection.
The museum offers the general public a unique opportunity to directly interact with and learn about the evolution of camera manufactory, its life cycle, the history and story of cameras and photography from their very beginnings till our contemporary digital age.
Laterna Magica Museum is a place for preservation of the history of visual media. Its vocation is to preserve the memory of techniques and works of photography in all of its fields of application. This is done through collection, conservation and documentation of cameras, related objects, and documents associated with the medium.
The purpose of this is to preserve, explore and tackle the history of visual media as it has been shaped by the invention and development of camera, photography and film.
THE ESPIONAGE COLLECTION
The espionage and surveillance potential of cameras was recognized already in the early days of the camera history. The Laterna Magica Museum contains significant examples of this, such as the first Covert
CAMERA SKIN COLLECTION
Magic Lantern Collection
The invention of the magic lantern can be traced back to the 1600's when Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens and Danish mathematician Thomas Rasmussen Walgensten started developing the device. The earliest magic lanterns used a candle as a light source. With time it was replaced by oil and kerosene lamps and eventually a light bulb when electricity was invented.
Thornton-Pickard magic lantern
The Birth of Cinema
On the 7th of June 1896 the first public film screening took place in Denmark at Vilhelm Pacht's Panorama pavillon at Copenhagen City Hall Square, and the first public cinema was Kosmorama that opened at Ostergade in Copenhagen on the 17th of September 1904.
The photo above shows the very first cinema projector that came to Copenhagen. It was stationed at Dagmar Theater for many years of the analog era and is now part of Laterna Magica Museum’s collection.