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THE KARASTOYANOVS Founders of Bulgarian Photography







Founders of Bulgarian Photography




27 April – 11 June 2017



Opening on Thursday, 27 April, at 18:00

The Palace, Alexander I Sq.


From the 1860s to the present day, there have been several National Revival families in Bulgarian history that bequeathed to their fatherland generations of prominent personalities who devoted themselves to photography, thus becoming some of the first masters of this art in our country.


One of these families was that of Nikola Karastoyanov, who, in 1828 in the town of Samokov, founded the first Bulgarian printing house for ‘prints’—engravings on copperplate or wood—as well as for the publication of books. His son, Anastas Karastoyanov, became involved in photography in addition to his printing and publishing work. His sons, Ivan and Dimitar, as well as his grandsons, Boncho and Bozhidar, inherited his talent.


The descendants of Bozhidar Karastoyanov, granddaughter Virginia Braykova and great-granddaughter Biliana Braykova–Karastoyanova, placed at our disposal original negatives and photographs from the extremely rich family archive, which had remained in their possession despite the vicissitudes of fate that befell the family after the end of the Second World War.


The images on display in this exhibition, with their historical, aesthetic value and quality corresponding to the world-class level for that epoch, give us good reason to state that the Karastoynov family can be justly placed at the forefront of the honorary list of the founders of Bulgarian photography.


The Karastoyanov kin is the theme that once again unites the joint efforts of the Nellie and Robert Gipson family (the exhibition includes many images from their personal collection) and the Archives State Agency in a cooperation that has by now become traditional. The Institute of Historical Studies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Burgas State Archives are also participating in the project.



For further information:

Ivo Hadjimishev

Compiler of the Gipson Archive Project

0888 354 937


national gallery

24.4.2017 15:41 

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