This spring and summer, dazzle your eyes with a new exhibition at the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center. The display “UP3D” will feature 60 large three-dimensional images from the stereograph collection of collector Jack Deo of Marquette. The exhibition will be open from April 23 to August 27 in the Beaumier Center’s gallery at the corner of Seventh Street and Tracy Ave. Admission is free and open to the public. This is an expanded version of an exhibition the Center mounted in 2011.
All of the images in this display are early stereograph images from the late 19th century taken in communities and locations around the Upper Peninsula by some of the region’s best-known photographers. They feature mining and other industrial operations, cityscapes, fires, Native Americans and slices of life from the 1860s to the 1890s. Communities featured will be Ironwood, Sault Ste. Marie, Houghton, Marquette, Escanaba and many others.
The exhibition will also include stereographic cameras, viewers and equipment on loan from Don Balmer of Marquette and Jack Deo. These will include vintage ViewMaster viewers and cameras from the 1940s through the 1990s. In addition, there will be stereograph cameras and equipment from the late 19th and early 20th century on display.
The concept that you can use two slightly off drawings to create a three-dimensional effect is older than photography itself. With the advent of photography in the late 1830s and early 1840s, the idea of using early photographs to create 3D images was embraced quickly. Overtime, a whole industry in three dimensional images on cards and slides developed and photography studios around the globe sold them as souvenirs or as volumes. Photography studios around the U.P. started doing this as early as the 1860s, and these images became a popular way to promote the region’s unique natural surroundings.