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Boissonnas in Egypt

Boissonnas in Egypt exhibition


Fred Boissonnas (1858-1946) was invited to Egypt in 1929 by King Fuad I to take photographs for the lavish publication L'Egypte (1932), and he returned to complete his Egyptian journey in 1933. During the later trip he embarked on a photographic expedition to Mount Sinai, following the route of the Israelites as recorded in the book of Exodus, and photographing the traditional biblical sites that he encountered on his journey. This work became the book project he never finished. Boissonnas in Egypt focuses on the photographic work for both books, visually exploring the complex histories of the newly formed 'modern' state (following Britain's unilateral declaration of Egyptian independence) and the photographer's own search for inspiration in the deserts of Sinai.


Exhibition talks

will take place every Thursday at 12.00


9th November                Ewelina Warner

16th November              Dr Kathleen Brunner

23rd November              Dr Ahmed Shams

30th November              Heather Ravenberg



Boissonnas and Egypt conference


2nd November 2017



Ondaatje Theatre 

Royal Geographical Society

1 Kensington Gore

London, SW7 2AR

United Kingdom


The conference will present different perspectives on the context of 1920s Egypt in relation to Boissonnas’s work and explore wider debates around photography and cultural geography.



Dr Estelle Sohier (Université de Genève)

Dr Ahmed Shams (Durham University)

Ramsay Cameron (Independent Filmmaker)

Dr George Manginis (Benaki Museum)

Dr Kathleen Brunner (Independent Scholar)

Professor Oriana Baddeley (University of the Arts London)



The conference will be followed by a private view of the exhibition from 17.30-19.30.


Tickets for the conference £35 (lunch and refreshments included) 

£10 for students







10.00 Arrival, tea & coffee
10.15 Welcome and introduction by Professor Oriana Baddeley
10.30 Dr George Manginis, 'Into Cheltenham' - On the Way to Mount Sinai
11.15 Dr Ahmed Shams, A Swiss Photographic Voyage
12.00 Screening of a re-construction of Fred Boissonnas’s Lecture V (originally delivered at the Salle de L’Athenee, Geneva, on Tuesday 19th November, 1935) describing his visit to Saint Catherine’s Monastery. Introduced by the film’s producer, Ramsay Cameron
12.45 Panel discussion - Chair Prof. Oriana Baddeley
13.15 Lunch break
14.15 Dr Estelle Sohier, L'Egypte by Fred Boissonnas (1932): a Photographic Monument for the Egyptian Nation
15.00 Dr Kathleen Brunner, Boissonnas' Return to Egypt, the Unfinished Sinai Project
15.45 Tea & coffee
16.15 Professor Oriana Baddeley, Boissonnas, Modernity and the Aesthetics of the Wilderness
17.00 Panel discussion - Chair Ewelina Warner 
17.30 Private view of Boissonnas in Egypt exhibition



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