Venice Historical Archive
Three hundred thousands of mostly still unpublished black and white images: negatives on glass leaving place, as time passes, to 4 x 5 images on film sheet, then to 120 rolls during the Fifties replaced by 135 cartridges from the early 1970s on. Such is the content of the Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche archive in numbers.
A quick peek at it and we can't help falling in love with long-gone faces, places and facts whose strength still pops out of each contact print and has now become history: movie stars and art/culture personalities, day and night views of Venice and of the surrounding countryside, gossip, crime, sports and local news, artwork or prints reproductions.
Local events like high tides, strikes and protests, celebrations, floods, regattas, the Venice Carnival, regional and period costumes... You name it and it's there.
Since 2010 the Archive has been declared of Exceptional Cultural Interest by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
Vittorio, the custodian
In 1972, at the age of 14, I was hired by Cameraphoto , the largest photojournalism agency in Venice, founded in 1946, collaborating in the production of development and white-and-white analogue press and the creation of photographic services for newspapers and weekly, including “Il Corriere della Sera”, “ La Stampa”, “Der Spiegel”, “Time” and “Life”.
In addition to photojournalism I still collaborate with La Biennale and with the Department of Culture for the realization of exhibition catalogues, including
Vasilij Kandiskij, Egon Schiele, Cagnaccio, Tiziano and El Greco.
The Direction of the Doge’s Palace commissioned us the photographic reproduction of all the paintings present in the palace, and I personally made thousands of photos with the use of optical bench (films in large format 13x18 cm). It also entrusted us with the reproduction of a great number of ancient engravings.
In 1987 I took over the Agency, continuing our relationship with the Doge’s Palace, which commissioned us the documentation of all the phases of restoration of frescoes, paintings, sculptures and friezes.
I make art photographs for books, collaborating with publishing houses such as Electa, Treccani, Biblos, Magnus.
Currently, in addition to the reproduction of works of art (the latest major work the book "Emilio Vedova Sculptor" published by Skira), I perform analogue prints in black and white and fine art digital prints, for professionals and artists, among my clients include ; Araki, Fulvio Roiter, Giorgia Fiorio, David Hamilton, Danilo De Marchi.
In addition to the activity of photographer and printer, for about 5 years I dedicate myself to the enhancement and conservation of my historical archive, called "Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche" containing about 300,000 negatives from the post-war period to the 80s, which negative represent in the various aspects, the history of Venice and not only.
A brief cronology
The Venetian photographer Dino Jarach sets up INTERFOTO - this was the agency’s first name - which immediately gains success in the photo journalism world through reportage on celebrities (show business, international culture) visiting Venice.
INTERPHOTO's name is turned into CAMERAPHOTO.
Vittorio Pavan (present owner of the archive) joins CAMERAPHOTO, which more and more focuses on artwork reproduction and on documenting artwork restorations. Artwork reproduction becomes Vittorio’s main work from 1987 on.
Vittorio Pavan chooses to continue alone and sets up BIANCONERO VENEZIA, a photo laboratory dedicated to black and white develop and print.