Mallorca (Balearic Islands) in visual culture and stereoscopic photography of the 20th century. The psychiatrist and photographer Jaume Escalas Real [EN]

Maria Josep Mulet Gutiérrez and Joan Carles Oliver Torelló

 

Stereoscopy was especially important among the techniques adopted by international
amateur photography during the first third of the twentieth century. The emergence of more
versatile cameras and the frequent allusions to this procedure in the photographic press
allow the amateur photographer to take in stereo their excursions and travels, integrating
their images into the representative landscape and monumental tradition of nineteenth-
century tourist photography. To this predominant thematic line was added a set of personal
interests linked to leisure, family scenes, cultural and historical heritage concerns, or those
related to own work. An outstanding example is the photographic career of Jaume Escalas
Real (Mallorca, 1893-1979), doctor and psychiatrist, director of the Mental Clinic of Mallorca
and the Ofcial College of Physicians of the Balearic Islands. Between 1915 and 1975 he
documented with his landscapes cameras, events, urban and rural daily life, medical work
areas and other scenes of the Islands and images of Barcelona, Madrid and other European
localities. He was also an important promoter of the tourist projection of Mallorca through
his numerous graphic guides translated into many languages, which show the transition
from elite tourism to the masses. Its photographic background has been preserved, until
less than 2015, with hundreds of stereoscopic slides and negatives, as well as simple images
of various formats, accessories and cameras. Escalas was one of the great amateurs of
twentieth-century Europe and his career exemplifies the historical link between stereoscopy
and amateur photography.

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