After serving as a Romanian war photographer from World War I through 1920, Costica Acsinte settled in Slobozia in the south of the country and set up a studio called Foto Splendid Acsinte. There he proceeded to document the surrounding community in over 5,000 images.
Acsinte died in 1984, and the glass-plate negatives were mostly forgotten and left in storage that exposed them to the elements. This documentation of Romania centered between 1935 and 1945 could have been totally lost if it weren’t for the Ialomița County Museum, which acquired all 5,000 of the plates in the 1990s. The photos have since fallen into the public domain, and photographer Cezar Popescu has been collaborating with the museum on digitizing all of the images. Now, Popescu is crowdfunding through Indiegogo to complete the project. The campaign also aims to improve the storage facilities of the delicate glass plates.
The Costică Acsinte Archive is an extensive trove of curiosities filled with scenes from everyday life, from stoic-faced children standing rigidly in awkward studio shots to somber funerals and men tending to apiaries. The archive joined Flickr Commons in December, with over 2,000 images now available online, but that’s still not even half of the photographs. And time is running out. As Popescu told Time magazine, the “degradation is quite rapid. Day after day, I notice another crack [in the emulsion].”
The wear is visible on many of the images, with emulsion ripped back, decapitating portraits or adding eerie scratches through the frame. This does give the photographs a haunting quality and an often beautiful layer of decay, but more importantly, they are an invaluable resource for history. Details on the years and people are scant, but the work of one of Romania’s most prolific early-20th-century photographers still reveals something about his country’s past, especially when it’s placed online for all to see.
The Costică Acsinte Archive is fundraising on Indiegogo through May 16.
As art history buffs on the app have pointed out, both movements attribute meaning to the meaningless.
Multiple posts about the film have been taken down on Twitter, many of them following the government’s removal requests.
Located in Des Moines, Iowa, this residency for emerging and established artists includes studio and living space, a $1,000 monthly stipend, and more.
This week, blonde hair supremacy, Salman Rushdie’s new novel, and why do boutique shops all look the same?
Fayneese Miller is under fire after the school failed to renew the contract of an adjunct who showed artworks depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
Hundreds of visitors were evacuated from the Incan site over the weekend.
The artist’s works resonate in West Texas, where the story of dehumanized and exploited migrant laborers is tangible and ever-present.
Fully-funded teaching assistantships are standard for MFA students at the top-ranked, flagship research university in the state of New York.
A posthumous show of Price’s work is curated by James Hart of Phil Space, the self-proclaimed “gallerist of death.”
She has raised generations of Bay Area artists and changed the local landscape with her public artworks, colleagues tell Hyperallergic.
Saim Sadiq’s crushing debut, the first Pakistani film to be shortlisted for the Oscars, is imbued with a crisis of space.
Asma Naeem’s appointment comes in the wake of a tumultuous period for the institution.