Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Theodor Herzl, early photoshopper

Here is a fabulous historical footnote I came across today.

In 1898, Theodor Herzl travelled to Palestine to meet German Kaiser Wilhelm II, where he showed him round a Jewish settlement (Mikveh Yisrael). On the day, David Wolfson - later Herzl's successor as the leader of the Zionist movement - was trusted with the camera, and indeed there is a famous photo of Herzl, holding his hat, greeting the Kaiser on a horse.

According to Motti Friedman, manager of the Herzl Museum, however, Wolfson was so excited that his hand actually slipped, and the picture only captured Wilhelm - and Herzl's leg.

So the two men later took a photo of Herzl standing on a Jaffa rooftop, by himself, cut out the image and stuck it onto another photo of Wilhelm.

You can see another shot from the two men's photoshoot here.

Of course, when you take another look at the picture it's obvious; Herzl is staring straight ahead instead of looking up at the Kaiser. Just think what they could have done with a Mac and a good computer program...

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