Józef Eder: Earliest Known Photographer of Lviv

We owe the oldest photographs of Lviv to Józef Eder (1831-1903), the owner of one of the first photography studios in Lviv. His photographs, which have been digitized and today are widely available on the Internet, date to the middle of the nineteenth century.

Starting in 1861, together with Bernhard Brand, Józef Eder owned a studio in Hotel Angielski (English Hotel), which had branches in Jassy (today Iași, Romania) and Stanisławów (today Ivano-Frankivsk). Later he worked only under the name Eder—until 1888, when the hotel was demolished. In that same year, Józef Eder began to operate a studio in Stanisławów, which after his death was run by Teofil Eder (from 1913), and then by Władysław Eder (from 1923).

Hotel Angielski (corner of Prospekt Svobody and Hnatiuka St.) with sign for Józef Eder’s photography studio, 1860s

Józef Eder worked mainly with portraits, but he was also interested in documentary photography (the January Uprising), as well as landscape,
still life, and architectural photography. He photographed Lviv (in 1871 he published “An Album of Curiosities of Lviv”), Przemyśl, and Rzeszów. He created a series of photographs of all the Krakow-Lviv railway stations. In 1877 he took part in the Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition in Lviv and in 1873 in the world exhibition in Vienna, where he received an award.

The nineteenth-century press wrote the following about Józef Eder:

“… enjoyed great popularity and publicity. It was the only studio from which the best photographs were released. All Lviv photographers, including Mr. Trzemeski, were initially educated here.”

Portraits by Józef Eder

A collection of portraits by Józef Eder can be found on the website of Muzeum Fotografii w Krakowie. Below are a few examples.

A young woman, 1870s – Bernhard Brand & Józef Eder, Lwów
Left: A young girl, 1880s; Right: Róża z Krasickich Axentowiczowa, 1877
Left: Bernard Goldman, 1880s; Right: Portrait of a man, 1860s
The back of photographs. Left: Bernhard Brand and Józef Eder Studio in Lwów and Jassy; Center: Józef Eder Studio in Lwów; Right: Józef Eder studio in Stanisławów

Lwów by Józef Eder

A selection of Józef Eder’s photographs of Lviv, dating from the 1860s through the 1890s. (Most are from the Center for Urban History’s Urban Image Database)

Klasztor Siostr Sercanek, 1860s
Building of the district administration, 1860s
Poltva River on Mickiewicz Square, 1860s
Former palace of the Bielski, Potocki, Komorowski, Uleniecki and Biesiadecki families on Halytska Square 10, 1860s
Palace of Leon Sapieha, 1870
Brygidky Prison, 1863
House of Officers, 1860s
St. Andrew’s Church and Halytsky Square, 1860s
Nature Museum, 1870
Boim Chapel, 1868
ul. Kazimierzowska, 1860s
ul. Kopernika, 1863
ul. Sykstuskiej (today Doroshenka) 1870s
ul. Sykstuska (today Doroshenka St.), 1890
Pillerowska building at the intersection of Wynnyczenka and Łyczakowska streets, 1860s
Jarosław Osmomysł Square, 1860s
Monument of St. John of Nepomuk, 1860s
The building of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lviv, 1860s
Diagnostic center of the hospital of the Lviv railway, 1865
Cerkiew św. Paraskewii Piatnycji, 1860s
Former Mozer factory, 1860s
Former tenement house of Markus Tenner, corner of Kościuszka and Sichovi Striltsi, 1870
Former Bielski Palace, 1860s
Pelczynski Pond, 1863
Towarzystwo Sokół, 1870s
Chapel near Home for the Disabled, 1860s
The St. Sophia Hospital (1860-1878), today a building of the Lviv Polytechnic, 1860s
Ulica Biblioteczna, 1860s

Ul. Hetmanska, 1890
Yaroslaw Osmomysl Square, 1860s
The building of the National Forest School, 1880
Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1860s

“Józef Eder,” Wikipedia
Muzeum Fotografii w Krakowie
Center for Urban History

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