photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
Photography by Serge Vargassoff
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Photography by by Xiaoyang Yu
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These two photographs are the eleventh in our ‘then and now’ series that we are sharing on Photo of the Day that have been researched by Nina Wang, an intern from the University of Sydney who has been working with our Registration team cataloguing the lantern slides of Serge Vargassoff taken in China from 1910s to 1940s. Serge Vargassoff (1906-1965) is a Russian-born photographer who established himself as a professional photographer, at the age of 20 in Beijing and became a long-term resident of the city. A set of 89 lantern slides in a Chinese style wooden box was donated to the Museum by Vera Vargassoff, a niece of Serge Vargassoff in 2010.
Nina has written the following:
This slide shows the marble terrace of the Yuanqiu Temple (Circular Mound Altar) with clouds decoration in Tian Tan (the Temple of Heaven, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site) in Peking. The Yuanqiu Temple is an empty circular platform on three levels of a marble terrace where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather. It was built in 1530 by the Jiajing Emperor (Ming dynasty) and was rebuilt in 1740.