Tuesday, April 12th: The Diableiries and 19th Century Pre-Cinematic Horror

The Diableiries and 19th Century Pre-Cinematic Horror
Coney Island Museum (1208 Surf Ave., Brooklyn)

3D is very much in the news these days, and while Hollywood has finally come close to perfecting this technology for the silver screen, people are largely unaware that the Victorians were also aficionados of 3D technologies, and that this interest often took a turn towards the macabre. Tonight, filmmaker and collector Ronni Thomas will lecture on the history of 3D spectacles of the Victorian age, especially the infamous Diableiries series–masterfully designed 3D stereo ’tissues’ created in france in the 19th century, backlit and featuring ornate scenes depicting the daily life of Satan in Hell (see image to left for example).Tongue in cheek and often controversial, these macabre spectacles give us a very interesting look at the 19th century’s lighthearted obsession with death and the macabre, serving as a wonderful demonstration of the Victorian fascination with themes such as the afterlife, heaven, hell and death.

In addition to the lecture, Thomas will display original Diableries and other artifacts from his own collection. Guests are encouraged to bring their own pieces and, better yet, a stereo-viewer.