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City of night
Carlos & Miguel Vargas, Isabel Sanchez Osorio, Arequipa, Peru, c. 1926

Carlos & Miguel Vargas »

City of night

The Vargas Brothers Studio
Arequipa, Peru 1912-1930

Exhibition: 30 Nov 2006 – 20 Jan 2007


2000 Edwards St, Bldg C, Ste 2
TX 77002 Houston



From the Belle Èpoque through the 1920s, a booming economy, a wealth of new ideas and a fascination with European styles and silent films transformed the city of Arequipa, high in Peru’s Atacama Desert, into an oasis of cosmopolitan culture. This was the heyday of the Estudio de Arte Vargas Hermanos, which quickly became a focal point of cultural life in this picturesque colonial city, 400 miles south of Lima. City of Night is the first in-dept retrospective of the extraordinary work of Carlos and Miguel Vargas (1885-1979), the inseparable brothers who established the most successful and influential photo studio of their time in the southern Andes, In addition to their photographic work, they hosted art exhibits, poetry readings, musical recitals and international celebrities in their beautifully appointed gallery, Lifelong residents of Arequipa, the Vargas Brothers left behind an elegant, poetic and unforgettable visual elegy to the city they knew so well, City of Night offers an extraordinary glimpse of a vanished world, the vibrant Creole society of southern Peru in the early 20th century. The exhibit is curated and produced by Peter Yenne and Adelma Benavente, co-founders of the Photographic Archive Project, a Houston non-profit organization dedicated to the study and conservation of photo archives in the developing world. FotoFest International is sponsoring the U.S. premiere of the City of Night.

City of night
Carlos & Miguel Vargas, Self-Portrait, Arequipa, c. 1922
City of night
Carlos & Miguel Vargas, Maria Aranguis, Arequipa, Peru, c. 1925
City of night
Carlos & Miguel Vargas, First Communion, Cathedral of Arequipa, Arequipa, Peru, c. 1915