The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs resulting from Martin Koenig's travels. Entitled Voices & Images From Bulgaria: 1966-1979, the exhibit was presented in Sofia by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture in 2007. The show is about the fortuitous capturing of a moment in time at the end of Balkan traditional society - the transition to a modern society was just beginning, and he captured what no one realized at the time would be the final moments of that millenia-old society and way of life.
Photograph by Martin KoenigThe exhibition, Voices & Images From Bulgaria: 1966-1979, sponsored by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, National Ethnographic Museum and Bulgarian Photographic Society, curated by Ivo Hadzimishev, was presented for the first time at the National Ethnographic Museum in Sofia in 2006.
Forty-five years ago, New York's Center for Traditional Music and Dance co-founder Martin Koenig, then in his mid-20s, went to Bulgaria with a letter from anthropologist Margaret Mead introducing him as an instructor of Balkan folk dance at Columbia University/Barnard College and someone interested in observing and documenting Bulgarian traditions. Koenig worked in villages throughout the country filming, recording and photographing different aspects of the traditional culture he observed.