«Carte de visite» of Marie Coray, photographed by Jost Guler

Thusis, around 1900

Thanks to a shorter exposure time and smaller formats, portrait photographs became affordable by the middle of the 19th century. Especially the «carte-de-visite» pictures became a worldwide bestseller. Collectors gave away their own portraits in exchange for the cards of relatives, friends or famous personalities. On the back of our picture «aunt Marie» is written. The cards were collected in specially made albums: social media of the 19th century.

Numerous portrait studios also opened in Graubünden. One of them was established by Jost Guler (1860‒1917) in Thusis. His family ran it for three generations.