Miguel Criado, by Maunoury, Lima, Peru

Miguel Criado by Maunoury of Lima, Peru
Miguel Criado by Maunoury of Lima, Peru

I bought this image because it has so much interesting history to it. Not only is the sitter known, but so is the date of the card, and the photographer, and the recipient of the card. Señor Maunoury was a franchisee of Nadar’s studio in Paris, operating in Lima, Peru. The handwritten note says “To my distinguished friend Juan Antonio Pacheco as a token of friendship, Miguel Criado”. So here we have a photograph that has traveled halfway around the world, just a few years shy of its 150th birthday, created by a French-trained photographer, collected by an American. What a fascinating nexus of connections. I wonder what the provenance of the image was before I bought it. I think it’s very important especially in the globalized world of today to contemplate these peregrinations through space and time that allow items like this to come into our hands, much like my Black Star, Osage Brave image that began life in Fort Smith, Arkansas, was collected in New York State, then went to Paris before arriving in my collection, or the Paris Opera image that spent time in Bulgaria before being auctioned off on Ebay by another French dealer, and now resides in Washington DC. In some ways, this is really the purpose of photography – to connect people across space and time, allowing someone dead and gone more than a century past to live on in the minds of people in a place they never would have been to.

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