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Soublette Et Fils: Photography In Curacao Around 1900

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Robert Soublette and his son Tito were photographers in Curaçao who between them captured the development, changes, and the people of the then colony on photographic plates from around 1869 until about 1923. Their work has been extensively used to illustrate articles and other publications about Curaçao but until now there has been no book about these remarkable early photographers.

The Soublette's were portrait photographers of real quality and also showed great compositional skill in their countless photographs of the city of Willemstad and its harbour. Many of their townscapes survive in the hands of collectors as postcards. Fortunately a large body of the work of the Soublettes has also been preserved, due to the foresight of the former Viennese photographer, Fred Fischer.

The firm of Soublette et Fils were accorded the special status of Court Photographer by H.M. Queen Wilhelmina for the contribution of Robert Soublette to a special album of photographs of the Dutch Antilles that was presented to the Queen in 1904. This gave them the right to display the royal crest as holders of the royal warrant and the crest became a landmark where streams of people from the harbour ferries and the Queen Emma bridge converged.

This book is published as part of the celebrations of 500 years of written history of Curaçao, known as "Project Curaçao 500" and an exhibition of the photographs of the Soublettes being held to mark this in Curaçao and Amsterdam. Its publication has been made possible by the generous support of Citco Group Limited, SFT Bank NV and Dagblad Amigoe.

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Koninklijk Instituut Voor De tropen
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