Cartes De Visite Collection

The carte de visite (or CDV) was a type of small photograph which was first patented in 1854. It was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card. When Frenchman Andre Adolphe Eugene Disderi published Emperor Napoleon III's photos as a CDV, the format went viral and the popularity of the format quickly spread across Europe, the United States and eventually the entire world. Each photograph on the CDV was the size of a visiting card, and such photograph cards were traded among friends and visitors. Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors. The popularity of these card photographs led to the publication and collection of photographs of prominent persons. During the American Civil War, the format proved to be a popular method of obtaining an image of a loved one or celebrity for a relatively inexpensive sum. By the early 1870s, the smaller cartes de visite were supplanted by "cabinet cards", which were also usually albumen prints, but larger, mounted on cardboard backs. Cabinet cards remained popular into the early 20th century. The cabinet cards were themselves supplanted when Kodak introduced the Brownie camera and home photography was made possible.

Click Here to Start the Exhibit.

Cartes De Visite Collection
©