The story
Behind the cameras

Gianpaolo, my father, was a collector.

And like any true collector, he was far from being a reasonable man.

Vintage Camera Collector

He harbored a multitude of passions that he transformed into collections. As an engineer with an love for history, much of his fascination centered around technical devices with chrome, gears and intricate moving parts (like watches, calculators, or typewriters).

Amidst his diverse collections, he dedicated most of his attention to his collection of vintage cameras.

As far as I can remember, I’ve always seen him scouring antique shops across the globe, frequenting fairs, and flea markets in pursuit of cameras ranging from the early 1900s to the late 1980s.

His pleasure lay in spending his nights disassembling them, painstakingly bringing them back to life. I rarely witnessed him happier than when he finally heard the “click” of a camera’s shutter that had lain silent for decades.

This passion drove him for more than five decades, leading him to create one of the most eclectic and captivating collection of vintage cameras, spanning not only through various eras but also encompassing a diverse array of technical innovations.

I had the privilege of spending a lot of time with him during my childhood (often assisting him in carrying newly acquired camera boxes or observing him intently as he repaired them). As I grew older, he used to wait for my visits so he could guide me through his latest acquisitions in his sanctuary after dinner. It’s a ritual we cherished for years.

In 2020, my father passed away, leaving me with one of the most comprehensive camera collections, housing over two thousand devices.

In September 2022, following two years dedicated to sorting and investigating cameras, I chose to continue my father’s the legacy.

Much like him, I am captivated by cameras that shaped our worldview and contributed to our present “image society.” The 20th century, marked by two world conflicts, the cold war, the surge of photojournalism, and the rise of celebrity culture, was consumed by a photographic obsession. The demand for diverse imagery fueled intense competition among camera manufacturers, resulting in a plethora of devices featuring groundbreaking innovations and, at times, less successful experiments.

While my father pursued an extensive collection, I’ve opted for a distinct path—to construct the definitive collection featuring only 99 cameras: The 99 most significant cameras of the 20th century.

A new approach to camera collection

Limiting the number of devices in a collection is an uncommon approach that entails challenging curatorial decisions, particularly since my goal is to assemble the most meaningful cameras of the 20th century rather than “merely” the rarest or most expensive ones.

To aid in these decisions and to fund some acquisitions, I’ve established the 99 Cameras Museum, inviting fellow passionate collectors to embark on this journey with me.

This adventure is the first collection project utilizing shared ownership. The concept is simple yet revolutionary: Club members acquire shares in the project through Digital Collectibles (NFTs) and actively participate in the life of the club’s physical collection.

We offers various opportunities through Membership cards or Camera Collectibles to create a meaningful and passionate community of Organisations, Photographers and Collectors.

All contributors are entitled to a “part” of the collection and exclusive or privileged access to all activities and collectibles.

Contact us if you want to be part of our adventure !