The museum was opened in the birthplace of J.M. Petzval in Spišská Belá in 1964. The first exhibition was made according to the script of prof. Rudolf Skopec from Prague, an expert in the history of photography. He based it on his publication “Dějiny fotografie v obrazech od nejstarších dob k dnešku” (History of Photography in Paintings from the Earliest Times to the Present Day) (Orbis Prague 1963).
The structure of the new exposition consists of thematic units, always describing a certain comprehensive chapter in the development of photographic and marginally also cinematographic techniques. It highlights the most important milestones that photographic technology has gone through from camera obscura to the present. Within the exhibition complex, the main units are presented: The Life and Work of Jozef Maximilian Petzval and Otto Baltazar Petzval, The Beginnings of Photography – From Camera Obscura to the First Photography, Epochal Coup in the Development of Photographic Optics and Technology, Overview of the History of Cinematography. Being a museum named after Jozef Maximilián Petzval, it is logical that the introductory part of the exhibition is dedicated to the life, career and work of a prominent mathematician, physicist, university professor, scientist and pioneer in the field of photographic optics.
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