This cabinet card features an attractive family posing for their portrait at the studio of J. F. Langhans in Prague, Czechlosvakia. Mother, father, and their two sons are all beautifully dressed. Father appears to be small of stature and looks quite austere with his hands folded across his chest and his stern facial expression. The children in this photograph seem significantly more relaxed than their parents. Take note of the style of father’s eye glasses Jan Langhans (1851-1926) is the best known figure in Czech photography and his gallery is still in existence. There is a wealth of information about Langhans online at the “Langhans Archive”. The site provides biographical and historical information as well as the “Gallery of Personalities”. The gallery has photographs of many prominent Czech citizens as well as well known visitors to Czechoslovakia.. These portraits date from 1890 through 1948. The studio was founded by Jan Langhans, who was a food chemist by training but developed a passion for photography. He opened his first studio in 1876 and was the preeminent portrait photographer of the region. He opened a number of branch studios throughout Czechoslovakia. He photographed many celebrities and aristocrats. After World War I the gallery possessed over a million negatives. He gave the studio to his daughter Marie and her husband Viktor Meisner. After World War II, his grandson Viktor Meisner took over the studio. In 1948, soon after the Communist take-over, the studio was nationalized and most of the negatives were destroyed. Fortunately, more negatives were discovered and they comprise the Gallery’s current collection.
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